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Sample records for endogenous cannabinoid receptor

  1. Cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous agonist, anandamide.

    PubMed

    Axelrod, J; Felder, C C

    1998-05-01

    Cannabinoids are a class of compound found in marijuana which have been known for their therapeutic and psychoactive properties for at least 4000 years. Isolation of the active principle in marijuana, delta9-THC, provided the lead structure in the development of highly potent congeners which were used to probe for the mechanism of marijuana action. Cannabinoids were shown to bind to selective binding sites in brain tissue thereby regulating second messenger formation. Such studies led to the cloning of three cannabinoid receptor subtypes, CB1, CB2, and CB1A all of which belong to the superfamily of G protein-coupled plasma membrane receptors. Analogous to the discovery of endogenous opiates, isolation of cannabinoid receptors provided the appropriate tool to isolate an endogenous cannabimimetic eicosanoid, anandamide, from porcine brain. Recent studies indicate that anandamide is a member of a family of fatty acid ethanolamides that may represent a novel class of lipid neurotransmitters. This review discusses recent progress in cannabinoid research with a focus on the receptors for delta9-THC, their coupling to second messenger responses, and the endogenous lipid cannabimimetic, anandamide.

  2. Why do cannabinoid receptors have more than one endogenous ligand?

    PubMed Central

    Di Marzo, Vincenzo; De Petrocellis, Luciano

    2012-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system was revealed following the understanding of the mechanism of action of marijuana's major psychotropic principle, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, and includes two G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs; the cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors), their endogenous ligands (the endocannabinoids, the best studied of which are anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)), and the proteins that regulate the levels and activity of these receptors and ligands. However, other minor lipid metabolites different from, but chemically similar to, anandamide and 2-AG have also been suggested to act as endocannabinoids. Thus, unlike most other GPCRs, cannabinoid receptors appear to have more than one endogenous agonist, and it has been often wondered what could be the physiological meaning of this peculiarity. In 1999, it was proposed that anandamide might also activate other targets, and in particular the transient receptor potential of vanilloid type-1 (TRPV1) channels. Over the last decade, this interaction has been shown to occur both in peripheral tissues and brain, during both physiological and pathological conditions. TRPV1 channels can be activated also by another less abundant endocannabinoid, N-arachidonoyldopamine, but not by 2-AG, and have been proposed by some authors to act as ionotropic endocannabinoid receptors. This article will discuss the latest discoveries on this subject, and discuss, among others, how anandamide and 2-AG differential actions at TRPV1 and cannabinoid receptors contribute to making this signalling system a versatile tool available to organisms to fine-tune homeostasis. PMID:23108541

  3. [Influence of anandamide, the endogenous agonist of cannabinoid receptors on the circulatory system].

    PubMed

    Kwolek, Grzegorz; Zakrzeska, Agnieszka; Kozłowska, Hanna; Malinowska, Barbara

    2005-05-19

    Cannabinoids, the active ingredients of Cannabis sativa, have been used by humans as hallucinogens and therapeutic agents for thousands of years. These agents are now known to act through the cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors. The recent discovery of endogenous cannabinoids and the fact that they are involved in the pathology of hypotension associated with hemorrhage, sepsis, cirrhosis, and myocardial infarction indicate that cannabinoids play a greater role in human and animal pathophysiology than initially anticipated. Anandamide is the first of the endogenous cannabinoid ligands discovered. Its intravenous administration produces a characteristic three-phase response in the circulatory systems of experimental animals: In phase 1--a short-lasting decrease in heart rate and systemic blood pressure is related to activation of vanilloid TRPV1 receptors. In phase 2 an increase in blood pressure involves multiple mechanisms, both central (probably through the rostral ventrolateral medulla) and peripheral (vascular, Ca2+-dependent). In phase 3 there is a prolonged decrease in blood pressure and sometimes bradycardia, related to the activation of cannabinoid CB1 and vanilloid TRPV1 receptors. On the basis of this three-phase mechanism, the present paper intends to describe the participation of anandamide in the circulatory system under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. It also discusses the possibility of applying cannabinoid ligands as new therapeutic agents for the treatment of some pathologies.

  4. Cannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors and tinnitus.

    PubMed

    Smith, Paul F; Zheng, Yiwen

    2016-02-01

    One hypothesis suggests that tinnitus is a form of sensory epilepsy, arising partly from neuronal hyperactivity in auditory regions of the brain such as the cochlear nucleus and inferior colliculus. Although there is currently no effective drug treatment for tinnitus, anti-epileptic drugs are used in some cases as a potential treatment option. There is increasing evidence to suggest that cannabinoid drugs, i.e. cannabinoid receptor agonists, can also have anti-epileptic effects, at least in some cases and in some parts of the brain. It has been reported that cannabinoid CB1 receptors and the endogenous cannabinoid, 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), are expressed in the cochlear nucleus and that they are involved in the regulation of plasticity. This review explores the question of whether cannabinoid receptor agonists are likely to be pro- or anti-epileptic in the cochlear nucleus and therefore whether cannabinoids and Cannabis itself are likely to make tinnitus better or worse.

  5. Endogenous cannabinoid receptor ligand induces the migration of human natural killer cells.

    PubMed

    Kishimoto, Seishi; Muramatsu, Mayumi; Gokoh, Maiko; Oka, Saori; Waku, Keizo; Sugiura, Takayuki

    2005-02-01

    2-Arachidonoylglycerol is an endogenous ligand for the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). Evidence is gradually accumulating which shows that 2-arachidonoylglycerol plays important physiological roles in several mammalian tissues and cells, yet the details remain ambiguous. In this study, we first examined the effects of 2-arachidonoylglycerol on the motility of human natural killer cells. We found that 2-arachidonoylglycerol induces the migration of KHYG-1 cells (a natural killer leukemia cell line) and human peripheral blood natural killer cells. The migration of natural killer cells induced by 2-arachidonoylglycerol was abolished by treating the cells with SR144528, a CB2 receptor antagonist, suggesting that the CB2 receptor is involved in the 2-arachidonoylglycerol-induced migration. In contrast to 2-arachidonoylglycerol, anandamide, another endogenous cannabinoid receptor ligand, did not induce the migration. Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, a major psychoactive constituent of marijuana, also failed to induce the migration; instead, the addition of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol together with 2-arachidonoylglycerol abolished the migration induced by 2-arachidonoylglycerol. It is conceivable that the endogenous ligand for the cannabinoid receptor, that is, 2-arachidonoylglycerol, affects natural killer cell functions such as migration, thereby contributing to the host-defense mechanism against infectious viruses and tumor cells.

  6. Broad impact of deleting endogenous cannabinoid hydrolyzing enzymes and the CB1 cannabinoid receptor on the endogenous cannabinoid-related lipidome in eight regions of the mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Leishman, Emma; Cornett, Ben; Spork, Karl; Straiker, Alex; Mackie, Ken; Bradshaw, Heather B

    2016-08-01

    The enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) hydrolyze endogenous cannabinoids (eCBs), N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), respectively. These enzymes also metabolize eCB analogs such as lipoamines and 2-acyl glycerols, most of which are not ligands at CB1. To test the hypothesis that deleting eCB hydrolyzing enzymes and CB1 shifts lipid metabolism more broadly and impacts more families of eCB structural analogs, targeted lipidomics analyses were performed on FAAH KO, MAGL KO, and CB1 KO mice and compared to WT controls in 8 brain regions. Methanolic extracts of discrete brain regions (brainstem, cerebellum, cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus, midbrain, striatum and thalamus) were partially purified on C-18 solid-phase extraction columns. Over 70 lipids per sample were then analyzed with HPLC/MS/MS. AEA and 2-AG were unaffected throughout the brain in CB1 KO mice; however, there was an increase in the arachidonic acid (AA) metabolite, PGE2 in the majority of brain areas. By contrast, PGE2 and AA levels were significantly reduced throughout the brain in the MAGL KO corresponding to significant increases in 2-AG. No changes in AA or PGE2 were seen throughout in the FAAH KO brain, despite significant increases in AEA, suggesting AA liberated by FAAH does not contribute to steady state levels of AA or PGE2. Changes in the lipidome were not confined to the AA derivatives and showed regional variation in each of the eCB KO models. AEA and 2-AG hydrolyzing enzymes and the CB1 receptor link the eCB system to broader lipid signaling networks in contrasting ways, potentially altering neurotransmission and behavior independently of cannabinoid receptor signaling. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Cannabis and cannabinoid receptors.

    PubMed

    Nocerino, E; Amato, M; Izzo, A A

    2000-08-01

    Cannabis and cannabinoids exert many of their biological functions through receptor-mediated mechanisms. Two types of cannabinoid receptors have been identified, namely CB(1) and CB(2), both coupled to a G protein. CB(1) receptors have been detected in the central nervous system (where they are responsible for the characteristic effects of Cannabis, including catalepsy, depression of motor activity, analgesia and feelings of relaxation and well being) and in peripheral neurons (where their activation produces a suppression in neurotransmitter release in the heart, bladder, intestine and vas deferens). Cannabinoid CB(2) receptors have only been detected outside the central nervous system, mostly in cells of the immune system, presumably mediating cannabinoid-induced immunosuppression and antinflammatory effects. With the discovery of cannabinoid receptors for exogenous cannabinoids, also endogenous cannabinoids (anandamide, 2-arachidonylglycerol) have been described.

  8. 2-Arachidonoylglycerol, an endogenous cannabinoid receptor ligand, induces accelerated production of chemokines in HL-60 cells.

    PubMed

    Kishimoto, Seishi; Kobayashi, Yuriko; Oka, Saori; Gokoh, Maiko; Waku, Keizo; Sugiura, Takayuki

    2004-04-01

    2-Arachidonoylglycerol is an endogenous ligand for the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). Previously, we provided evidence that 2-arachidonoylglycerol, but not anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine), is the true natural ligand for the cannabinoid receptors. In the present study, we examined in detail the effects of 2-arachidonoylglycerol on the production of chemokines in human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells. We found that 2-arachidonoylglycerol induced a marked acceleration in the production of interleukin 8. The effect of 2-arachidonoylglycerol was blocked by treatment of the cells with SR144528, a cannabinoid CB2 receptor antagonist, indicating that the effect of 2-arachidonoylglycerol is mediated through the CB2 receptor. Augmented production of interleukin 8 was also observed with CP55940, a synthetic cannabinoid, and an ether-linked analog of 2-arachidonoylglycerol. On the other hand, neither anandamide nor the free arachidonic acid induced the enhanced production of interleukin 8. A similar effect of 2-arachidonoylglycerol was observed in the case of the production of macrophage-chemotactic protein-1. The accelerated production of interleukin 8 by 2-arachidonoylglycerol was observed not only in undifferentiated HL-60 cells, but also in HL-60 cells differentiated into macrophage-like cells. Noticeably, 2-arachidonoylglycerol and lipopolysaccharide acted synergistically to induce the dramatically augmented production of interleukin 8. These results strongly suggest that the CB2 receptor and its physiological ligand, i.e., 2-arachidonoylglycerol, play important regulatory roles such as stimulation of the production of chemokines in inflammatory cells and immune-competent cells. Detailed studies on the cannabinoid receptor system are thus essential to gain a better understanding of the precise regulatory mechanisms of inflammatory reactions and immune responses.

  9. Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and endogenous cannabinoid anandamide directly potentiate the function of glycine receptors.

    PubMed

    Hejazi, Nadia; Zhou, Chunyi; Oz, Murat; Sun, Hui; Ye, Jiang Hong; Zhang, Li

    2006-03-01

    Anandamide (AEA) and delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are endogenous and exogenous ligands, respectively, for cannabinoid receptors. Whereas most of the pharmacological actions of cannabinoids are mediated by CB1 receptors, there is also evidence that these compounds can produce effects that are not mediated by the activation of identified cannabinoid receptors. Here, we report that THC and AEA, in a CB1 receptor-independent manner, cause a significant potentiation of the amplitudes of glycine-activated currents (I(Gly)) in acutely isolated neurons from rat ventral tegmental area (VTA) and in Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing human homomeric (alpha1) and heteromeric (alpha1beta1) subunits of glycine receptors (GlyRs). The potentiation of I(Gly) by THC and AEA is concentration-dependent, with respective EC50 values of 86 +/- 9 and 319 +/- 31 nM for alpha1 homomeric receptors, 73 +/- 8 and 318 +/- 24 nM for alpha1beta1 heteromeric receptors, and 115 +/- 13 and 230 +/- 29 nM for native GlyRs in VTA neurons. The effects of THC and AEA are selective for I(Gly), because GABA-activated current in VTA neurons or in X. laevis oocytes expressing alpha2beta3gamma2 GABA(A) receptor subunits were unaffected by these compounds. The maximal potentiation by THC and AEA was observed at the lowest concentration of glycine; with increasing concentrations of glycine, the potentiation significantly decreased. The site for THC and AEA seems to be distinct from that of the alcohol and volatile anesthetics. The results indicate that THC and AEA, in pharmacologically relevant concentrations, directly potentiate the function of GlyRs through an allosteric mechanism.

  10. Anti-inflammatory lipoxin A4 is an endogenous allosteric enhancer of CB1 cannabinoid receptor

    PubMed Central

    Pamplona, Fabricio A.; Ferreira, Juliano; Menezes de Lima, Octávio; Duarte, Filipe Silveira; Bento, Allisson Freire; Forner, Stefânia; Villarinho, Jardel G.; Bellocchio, Luigi; Wotjak, Carsten T.; Lerner, Raissa; Monory, Krisztina; Lutz, Beat; Canetti, Claudio; Matias, Isabelle; Calixto, João Batista; Marsicano, Giovanni; Guimarães, Marilia Z. P.; Takahashi, Reinaldo N.

    2012-01-01

    Allosteric modulation of G-protein–coupled receptors represents a key goal of current pharmacology. In particular, endogenous allosteric modulators might represent important targets of interventions aimed at maximizing therapeutic efficacy and reducing side effects of drugs. Here we show that the anti-inflammatory lipid lipoxin A4 is an endogenous allosteric enhancer of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor. Lipoxin A4 was detected in brain tissues, did not compete for the orthosteric binding site of the CB1 receptor (vs. 3H-SR141716A), and did not alter endocannabinoid metabolism (as opposed to URB597 and MAFP), but it enhanced affinity of anandamide at the CB1 receptor, thereby potentiating the effects of this endocannabinoid both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, lipoxin A4 displayed a CB1 receptor-dependent protective effect against β-amyloid (1–40)-induced spatial memory impairment in mice. The discovery of lipoxins as a class of endogenous allosteric modulators of CB1 receptors may foster the therapeutic exploitation of the endocannabinoid system, in particular for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:23150578

  11. Anti-inflammatory lipoxin A4 is an endogenous allosteric enhancer of CB1 cannabinoid receptor.

    PubMed

    Pamplona, Fabricio A; Ferreira, Juliano; Menezes de Lima, Octávio; Duarte, Filipe Silveira; Bento, Allisson Freire; Forner, Stefânia; Villarinho, Jardel G; Bellocchio, Luigi; Bellochio, Luigi; Wotjak, Carsten T; Lerner, Raissa; Monory, Krisztina; Lutz, Beat; Canetti, Claudio; Matias, Isabelle; Calixto, João Batista; Marsicano, Giovanni; Guimarães, Marilia Z P; Takahashi, Reinaldo N

    2012-12-18

    Allosteric modulation of G-protein-coupled receptors represents a key goal of current pharmacology. In particular, endogenous allosteric modulators might represent important targets of interventions aimed at maximizing therapeutic efficacy and reducing side effects of drugs. Here we show that the anti-inflammatory lipid lipoxin A(4) is an endogenous allosteric enhancer of the CB(1) cannabinoid receptor. Lipoxin A(4) was detected in brain tissues, did not compete for the orthosteric binding site of the CB(1) receptor (vs. (3)H-SR141716A), and did not alter endocannabinoid metabolism (as opposed to URB597 and MAFP), but it enhanced affinity of anandamide at the CB1 receptor, thereby potentiating the effects of this endocannabinoid both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, lipoxin A(4) displayed a CB(1) receptor-dependent protective effect against β-amyloid (1-40)-induced spatial memory impairment in mice. The discovery of lipoxins as a class of endogenous allosteric modulators of CB(1) receptors may foster the therapeutic exploitation of the endocannabinoid system, in particular for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.

  12. The endogenous cannabinoid anandamide inhibits alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-mediated responses in Xenopus oocytes.

    PubMed

    Oz, Murat; Ravindran, Arippa; Diaz-Ruiz, Oscar; Zhang, Li; Morales, Marisela

    2003-09-01

    The effect of the endogenous cannabinoid ligand anandamide on the function of the cloned alpha7 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor expressed in Xenopus oocytes was investigated by using the two-electrode voltage-clamp technique. Anandamide reversibly inhibited nicotine (10 microM) induced-currents in a concentration-dependent manner (10 nM to 30 microM), with an IC50 value of 229.7 +/- 20.4 nM. The effect of anandamide was neither dependent on the membrane potential nor meditated by endogenous Ca2+ dependent Cl- channels since it was unaffected by intracellularly injected BAPTA and perfusion with Ca2+-free bathing solution containing 2 mM Ba2+. Anandamide decreased the maximal nicotine-induced responses without significantly affecting its potency, indicating that it acts as a noncompetitive antagonist on nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) alpha7 receptors. This effect was not mediated by CB1 or CB2 receptors, as neither the selective CB1 receptor antagonist N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboximide hydrochloride (SR 141716A) nor CB2 receptor antagonist N-((1S)-endo-1,3,3-trimethyl-bicyclo-heptan-2-yl]-5-(4-chloro-3-methylphenyl)-1-(4-methylbenzyl)-pyrazole-3-carboxamide (SR 144528) reduced the inhibition by anandamide. In addition, inhibition of nicotinic responses by anandamide was not sensitive to either pertussis toxin treatment or to the membrane permeable cAMP analog 8-Br-cAMP (0.2 mM). Inhibitors of enzymes involved in anandamide metabolism including phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride, superoxide dismutase, and indomethacin, or the anandamide transport inhibitor AM404 did not prevent anandamide inhibition of nicotinic responses, suggesting that anandamide itself acted on nicotinic receptors. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide inhibits the function of nACh alpha7 receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes in a cannabinoid receptor-independent and

  13. Cannabinoid CB1 receptors and ligands in vertebrate retina: localization and function of an endogenous signaling system.

    PubMed

    Straiker, A; Stella, N; Piomelli, D; Mackie, K; Karten, H J; Maguire, G

    1999-12-07

    CB1, a cannabinoid receptor enriched in neuronal tissue, was found in high concentration in retinas of rhesus monkey, mouse, rat, chick, goldfish, and tiger salamander by using a subtype-specific polyclonal antibody. Immunolabeling was detected in the two synaptic layers of the retina, the inner and outer plexiform layers, of all six species examined. In the outer plexiform layer, CB1 was located in and/or on cone pedicles and rod spherules. Labeling was detected in some amacrine cells of all species and in the ganglion cells and ganglion cell axons of all species except fish. In addition, sparse labeling was found in the inner and/or outer segments of the photoreceptors of monkey, mouse, rat, and chick. Using GC/MS to detect possible endogenous cannabinoids, we found 3 nmol of 2-arachidonylglycerol per g of tissue, but no anandamide was detectable. Cannabinoid receptor agonists induced a dramatic reduction in the amplitude of voltage-gated L-type calcium channel currents in identified retinal bipolar cells. The presence and distribution of the CB1 receptor, the large amounts of 2-arachidonylglycerol found, and the effects of cannabinoids on calcium channel activity in bipolar cells suggest a substantive role for an endogenous cannabinoid signaling system in retinal physiology, and perhaps vision in general.

  14. The cannabinoid receptors.

    PubMed

    Howlett, Allyn C

    2002-08-01

    Cannabinoid receptors were named because they have affinity for the agonist delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta9-THC), a ligand found in organic extracts from Cannabis sativa. The two types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. are G protein coupled receptors that are coupled through the Gi/o family of proteins to signal transduction mechanisms that include inhibition of adenylyl cyclase, activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase, regulation of calcium and potassium channels (CB1 only), and other signal transduction pathways. A class of the eicosanoid ligands are relevant to lipid-mediated cellular signaling because they serve as endogenous agonists for cannabinoid receptors, and are thus referred to as endocannabinoids. Those compounds identified to date include the eicosanoids arachidonoylethanolamide (anandamide), 2-arachidonoylglycerol and 2-arachidonylglyceryl ether (noladin ether). Several excellent reviews on endocannabinoids and their synthesis, metabolism and function have appeared in recent years. This paper will describe the biological activities, pharmacology, and signal transduction mechanisms for the cannabinoid receptors, with particular emphasis on the responses to the eicosanoid ligands.

  15. Bidirectional alterations of hippocampal cannabinoid 1 receptors and their endogenous ligands in a rat model of alcohol withdrawal and dependence.

    PubMed

    Mitrirattanakul, Somsak; López-Valdés, Héctor E; Liang, Jing; Matsuka, Yoshizo; Mackie, Ken; Faull, Kym F; Spigelman, Igor

    2007-05-01

    The hippocampus is strongly implicated in memory processes and contains high concentrations of both cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands. Chronic alcohol consumption impairs a variety of cognitive and performance tasks, including memory and learning. As the activation of cannabinoid receptors by their endogenous ligands modulates hippocampal neurotransmission, we hypothesized that the impaired memory and learning in alcoholism may be due to alterations in the hippocampal endocannabinoid system. We used the rat chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) model for alcohol withdrawal and dependence which involves intermittent episodes of ethanol intoxication (60 doses) and withdrawal (approximating binge drinking episodes in humans). We measured the levels of cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1R) protein (Western blot using a C-terminal-directed antibody), CB1R mRNA (real-time RT-PCR), CB1R localization (immunocytochemistry), tissue levels of the endocannabinoids N-arachidonoylethanolamine/anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), and function (patch-clamp recordings of depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition (DSI), as well as effects of CB1R agonist WIN 55,212-2 on inhibitory currents) in the hippocampus of CIE rats and their saline-treated controls. Results were obtained in saline and CIE-treated rats after 2 and 40 days of withdrawal (DW) from their respective treatments. In 2 DW CIE rats, CB1R mRNA and protein levels were decreased by 27% (p<0.05) compared with saline controls. Surprisingly, in 40 DW CIE rats, CB1R mRNA increased by 100% and protein increased by 21%, confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Hippocampal [2-AG] increased in both 2 and 40 DW CIE rats; [AEA] increased only at 40 DW. Hippocampal DSI of CIE rats was significantly reduced at 2 DW but not at 40 DW. The CB1R agonist WIN 55,212-2 (0.5 microM) produced a significantly greater decrease in the frequency of spontaneous inhibitory currents from saline-treated rats compared with CIE

  16. Endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptor genetics.

    PubMed

    Onaivi, Emmanuel S; Leonard, Claire M; Ishiguro, Hiroki; Zhang, Ping Wu; Lin, Zhicheng; Akinshola, Babatunde E; Uhl, George R

    2002-04-01

    This review presents the remarkable advances that have been achieved in marijuana (cannabinoid) research, with the discovery of specific receptors and the existence of naturally occurring cannabis-like substances in the human body and brain. The last decade has seen more rapid progress in marijuana research than any time in the thousands of years that marijuana has been used by humans, particularly in cannabinoid genomics. The cDNA and genomic sequences encoding G protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors (Cnrs) from several species have now been cloned. Endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), synthetic and hydrolyzing enzymes and transporters that define neurochemically-specific cannabinoid brain pathways have been identified. Endocannabinoid lipid signaling molecules alter activity at G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) and possibly at anandamide-gated ion channels, such as vanilloid receptors. Availability of increasingly-specific CB1 and CB2 Cnr antagonists and of CB1 and CB2 Cnr knockout mice have increased our understanding of these cannabinoid systems and provides tantalizing evidence for even more G protein-coupled Cnrs. Initial studies of the Cnr gene structure, regulation and polymorphisms whet our appetite for more information about these interesting genes, their variants and roles in vulnerabilities to addictions and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Behavioral studies of cannabinoids document the complex interactions between rewarding and aversive effects of these drugs. Pursuing cannabinoid-related molecular, pharmacological and behavioral leads will add greatly to our understanding of endogenous brain neuromodulator systems, abused substances and potential therapeutics. This review of CB1 and CB2 Cnr genes in human and animal brain and their neurobiological effects provide a basis for many of these studies. Therefore, understanding the physiological cannabinoid control system in the human body and brain will contribute to elucidating this natural

  17. Site-specific increases in peripheral cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands in a model of neuropathic pain.

    PubMed

    Mitrirattanakul, Somsak; Ramakul, Navapoln; Guerrero, Andre V; Matsuka, Yoshizo; Ono, Takeshi; Iwase, Hirotate; Mackie, Ken; Faull, Kym F; Spigelman, Igor

    2006-12-15

    Selective activation of the peripheral cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) has been shown to suppress neuropathic pain symptoms in rodents. However, relatively little is known about changes in CB1R and its endogenous ligands during development or maintenance of neuropathic pain. Using immunohistochemistry, Western blot, real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, as well as liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, we studied the changes in CB1Rs and endocannabinoids N-arachidonoylethanolamine/anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in rat lumbar (L4 and L5) dorsal root ganglia (DRG) after neuropathic pain induction (L5 spinal nerve ligation: SNL). Immunohistochemistry revealed that in control rats, CB1R is expressed in the majority (76-83%) of nociceptive neurons as indicated by co-labeling with isolectin B4 (IB4) or antibodies recognizing transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV1), calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP), and the NR2C/2D subunits of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor. After L5 SNL, CB1R mRNA and protein increases in the ipsilateral uninjured L4 DRG whereas the percentages of CB1R immunoreactive (CB1R-ir) neurons remain unchanged in L4 and L5 DRG. However, for these CB1R-ir neurons, we observe significant increases in percentage of TRPV1-ir cells in ipsilateral L4 DRG, and decreases in percentage of IB4- and CGRP-co-labeled cells in ipsilateral L5 DRG. Levels of both AEA and 2-AG increase significantly only in the ipsilateral L5 DRG. These results are consistent with the preserved analgesic effects of cannabinoids in neuropathic pain and provide a rational framework for the development of peripherally acting endocannabinoid-based therapeutic interventions for neuropathic pain.

  18. Persistent anxiogenic effects of a single or repeated doses of cocaine and methamphetamine: interactions with endogenous cannabinoid receptor ligands.

    PubMed

    Hayase, T; Yamamoto, Y; Yamamoto, K

    2005-09-01

    As persistent behavioural changes, such as increased anxiety-related behaviours, can be predicted based on the phenomenon of psychostimulant-induced neuronal plasticity, the time course (3-, 5- and 10-day time points) of the effects of both a single and repeated (daily for 7 days) i.p. administrations of cocaine (COC) and methamphetamine (MA) on anxiety-related behavioural symptoms in the elevated plus-maze test were examined in mice. Furthermore, based on the reported interactions between brain dopamine versus cannabinoid (CB) receptors and the contribution of CB receptors to the occurrence of persistent anxiety-related behavioural symptoms, the interactions of the agonist CP 55940 (CP) and the endogenous ligands anandamide (arachidonylethanolamide: AEA), 2-arachidonylglycerol (ARA), N-arachidonyldopamine (NADA), noladin ether (NL), and virodhamine (VA) with the COC- or MA-induced anxiety-related behaviours were also studied. In both an acute experiment using a single COC (30 mg/kg) or MA (4 mg/kg) dose and a chronic experiment using repeated COC (15 mg/kg) or MA (2 mg/kg) doses, anxiety-related behavioural symptoms were observed similarly at 3- and 5-day time points, but disappeared at the 10-day time point. Among the CB ligands, the agonists CP, AEA, ARA, NADA, and NL provided strong protective effects against each parameter at 3- and 5-day time points. Therefore, it was concluded that both COC and MA caused persistent anxiety-related behavioural symptoms following both a single and repeated treatments. Since these anxiogenic effects were attenuated by the endogenous CB agonists, the involvement of brain CB receptors was suspected.

  19. Inhibition of leukocyte function and interleukin-2 gene expression by 2-methylarachidonyl-(2'-fluoroethyl)amide, a stable congener of the endogenous cannabinoid receptor ligand anandamide

    SciTech Connect

    Kaplan, Barbara L.F.; Ouyang Yanli; Herring, Amy; Yea, Sung Su; Razdan, Raj; Kaminski, Norbert E. . E-mail: kamins11@msu.edu

    2005-06-01

    Arachidonylethanolamide (anandamide, AEA) has been identified as an endogenous ligand for cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. Characterization of the direct cannabimimetic actions of anandamide has been hampered by its short duration of action and rapid degradation in in vivo and in vitro systems to arachidonic acid, a precursor in the biosynthesis of a broad range of biologically active molecules. In the present studies, we utilized 2-methylarachidonyl-(2'-fluoroethyl)amide (F-Me-AEA), an analog of anandamide resistant to enzymatic degradation, to determine whether F-Me-AEA modulated T cell function similar to that of plant-derived cannabinoids. Indeed, F-Me-AEA at low micromolar concentrations exhibited a marked inhibition of phorbol ester plus calcium ionophore (PMA/Io)-induced IL-2 protein secretion and steady state mRNA expression. Likewise, a modest suppression of the mixed lymphocyte response was observed in the presence of F-Me-AEA indicating an alteration in T cell responsiveness to allogeneic MHC class II antigens. F-Me-AEA was also found to modestly inhibit forskolin-stimulated adenylate cyclase activity in thymocytes and splenocytes, a hallmark of cannabinoid receptor agonists. Further characterization of the influence of F-Me-AEA on the cAMP signaling cascade revealed an inhibition of CREB-1/ATF-1 phosphorylation and subsequently, an inhibition of CRE DNA binding activity. Characterization of nuclear binding proteins further revealed that NF-AT and, to a lesser extent, NF-{kappa}B DNA binding activities were also suppressed. These studies demonstrate that F-Me-AEA modulates T cell function in a similar manner to plant-derived and endogenous cannabinoids and therefore can be utilized as an amidase- and hydrolysis-resistant endogenous cannabinoid.

  20. [Endogenous cannabinoid system. Effect on neuronal plasticity and pain memory].

    PubMed

    Azad, S C; Huge, V; Schöps, P; Hilf, C; Beyer, A; Dodt, H-U; Rammes, G; Zieglgänsberger, W

    2005-11-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of the endogenous cannabinoid system in controlling neuroplasticity. The pain threshold for electrical stimuli was determined in transgenic mice lacking the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1(-/-)) and in the corresponding respective wild-type animals. Electrophysiological experiments were performed in prepared brain slices to test the effect of endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids on synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation (LTP) in the amygdala. The pain threshold was nearly identical in both groups for the first pain induction; however, with repeated pain induction it decreased to a significantly greater extent in the CB1(-/-) mice than in the wild-type animals. Synoptic transmission and the inducibility of LTP were not influenced by the acute pharmacological blockade of CB1 receptors, but inhibited by the CB1 agonist WIN55,212-2. The endogenous cannabinoid system is involved in the control of neuroplasticity as part of pain processing . Cannabinoids prevent the formation of LTP in the amygdala via activation of CB1 receptors. Synoptic transmission and the inducibility of LTP were not influenced by the acute pharmacological blockade of CB1 receptors, but inhibited by the CB1 agonist Win55,212-2.

  1. Control of cannabinoid CB1 receptor function on glutamate axon terminals by endogenous adenosine acting at A1 receptors.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, Alexander F; Laaris, Nora; Kawamura, Masahito; Masino, Susan A; Lupica, Carl R

    2010-01-13

    Marijuana is a widely used drug that impairs memory through interaction between its psychoactive constituent, Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(9)-THC), and CB(1) receptors (CB1Rs) in the hippocampus. CB1Rs are located on Schaffer collateral (Sc) axon terminals in the hippocampus, where they inhibit glutamate release onto CA1 pyramidal neurons. This action is shared by adenosine A(1) receptors (A1Rs), which are also located on Sc terminals. Furthermore, A1Rs are tonically activated by endogenous adenosine (eADO), leading to suppressed glutamate release under basal conditions. Colocalization of A1Rs and CB1Rs, and their coupling to shared components of signal transduction, suggest that these receptors may interact. We examined the roles of A1Rs and eADO in regulating CB1R inhibition of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the rodent hippocampus. We found that A1R activation by basal or experimentally increased levels of eADO reduced or eliminated CB1R inhibition of glutamate release, and that blockade of A1Rs with caffeine or other antagonists reversed this effect. The CB1R-A1R interaction was observed with the agonists WIN55,212-2 and Delta(9)-THC and during endocannabinoid-mediated depolarization-induced suppression of excitation. A1R control of CB1Rs was stronger in the C57BL/6J mouse hippocampus, in which eADO levels were higher than in Sprague Dawley rats, and the eADO modulation of CB1R effects was absent in A1R knock-out mice. Since eADO levels and A1R activation are regulated by homeostatic, metabolic, and pathological factors, these data identify a mechanism in which CB1R function can be controlled by the brain adenosine system. Additionally, our data imply that caffeine may potentiate the effects of marijuana on hippocampal function.

  2. The endogenous cannabinoid anandamide inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation

    PubMed Central

    De Petrocellis, Luciano; Melck, Dominique; Palmisano, Antonella; Bisogno, Tiziana; Laezza, Chiara; Bifulco, Maurizio; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    1998-01-01

    Anandamide was the first brain metabolite shown to act as a ligand of “central” CB1 cannabinoid receptors. Here we report that the endogenous cannabinoid potently and selectively inhibits the proliferation of human breast cancer cells in vitro. Anandamide dose-dependently inhibited the proliferation of MCF-7 and EFM-19 cells with IC50 values between 0.5 and 1.5 μM and 83–92% maximal inhibition at 5–10 μM. The proliferation of several other nonmammary tumoral cell lines was not affected by 10 μM anandamide. The anti-proliferative effect of anandamide was not due to toxicity or to apoptosis of cells but was accompanied by a reduction of cells in the S phase of the cell cycle. A stable analogue of anandamide (R)-methanandamide, another endogenous cannabinoid, 2-arachidonoylglycerol, and the synthetic cannabinoid HU-210 also inhibited EFM-19 cell proliferation, whereas arachidonic acid was much less effective. These cannabimimetic substances displaced the binding of the selective cannabinoid agonist [3H]CP 55,940 to EFM-19 membranes with an order of potency identical to that observed for the inhibition of EFM-19 cell proliferation. Moreover, anandamide cytostatic effect was inhibited by the selective CB1 receptor antagonist SR 141716A. Cell proliferation was arrested by a prolactin mAb and enhanced by exogenous human prolactin, whose mitogenic action was reverted by very low (0.1–0.5 μM) doses of anandamide. Anandamide suppressed the levels of the long form of the prolactin receptor in both EFM-19 and MCF-7 cells, as well as a typical prolactin-induced response, i.e., the expression of the breast cancer cell susceptibility gene brca1. These data suggest that anandamide blocks human breast cancer cell proliferation through CB1-like receptor-mediated inhibition of endogenous prolactin action at the level of prolactin receptor. PMID:9653194

  3. The Cannabinoid Acids, Analogs and Endogenous Counterparts

    PubMed Central

    Burstein, Sumner H.

    2015-01-01

    The cannabinoid acids are a structurally heterogeneous group of compounds some of which are endogenous molecules and others that are metabolites of phytocannabinoids. The prototypic endogenous substance is N-arachidonoyl glycine (NAgly) that is closely related in structure to the cannabinoid agonist anandamide. The most studied phytocannabinoid is Δ9–THC-11-oic acid, the principal metabolite of Δ9–THC. Both types of acids have in common several biological actions such as low affinity for CB1, anti-inflammatory activity and analgesic properties. This suggests that there may be similarities in their mechanism of action, a point that is discussed in this review. Also presented are reports on analogs of the acids that provide opportunities for the development of novel therapeutic agents, such as ajulemic acid. PMID:24731541

  4. Epileptiform activity in the CA1 region of the hippocampus becomes refractory to attenuation by cannabinoids in part because of endogenous γ-aminobutyric acid type B receptor activity.

    PubMed

    Messer, Ricka D; Levine, Eric S

    2012-07-01

    The anticonvulsant properties of marijuana have been known for centuries. The recently characterized endogenous cannabinoid system thus represents a promising target for novel anticonvulsant agents; however, administration of exogenous cannabinoids has shown mixed results in both human epilepsy and animal models. The ability of cannabinoids to attenuate release of both excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters may explain the variable effects of cannabinoids in different models of epilepsy, but this has not been well explored. Using acute mouse brain slices, we monitored field potentials in the CA1 region of the hippocampus to characterize systematically the effects of the cannabinoid agonist WIN55212-2 (WIN) on evoked basal and epileptiform activity. WIN, acting presynaptically, significantly reduced the amplitude and slope of basal field excitatory postsynaptic potentials as well as stimulus-evoked epileptiform responses induced by omission of magnesium from the extracellular solution. In contrast, the combination of omission of magnesium plus elevation of potassium induced an epileptiform response that was refractory to attenuation by WIN. The effect of WIN in this model was partially restored by blocking γ-aminobutyric acid type B (GABA(B) ), but not GABA(A) , receptors. Subtle differences in models of epileptiform activity can profoundly alter the efficacy of cannabinoids. Endogenous GABA(B) receptor activation played a role in the decreased cannabinoid sensitivity observed for epileptiform activity induced by omission of magnesium plus elevation of potassium. These results suggest that interplay between presynaptic G protein-coupled receptors with overlapping downstream targets may underlie the variable efficacy of cannabinoids in different models of epilepsy. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Increased Expression of Cannabinoid CB1 Receptors in Achilles Tendinosis

    PubMed Central

    Björklund, Emmelie; Forsgren, Sture; Alfredson, Håkan; Fowler, Christopher J.

    2011-01-01

    Background The endogenous cannabinoid system is involved in the control of pain. However, little is known as to the integrity of the cannabinoid system in human pain syndromes. Here we investigate the expression of the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) in human Achilles tendons from healthy volunteers and from patients with Achilles tendinosis. Methodology Cannabinoid CB1 receptor immunoreactivity (CB1IR) was evaluated in formalin-fixed biopsies from individuals suffering from painful Achilles tendinosis in comparison with healthy human Achilles tendons. Principal Findings CB1IR was seen as a granular pattern in the tenocytes. CB1IR was also observed in the blood vessel wall and in the perineurium of the nerve. Quantification of the immunoreactivity in tenocytes showed an increase of CB1 receptor expression in tendinosis tissue compared to control tissue. Conclusion Expression of cannabinoid receptor 1 is increased in human Achilles tendinosis suggesting that the cannabinoid system may be dysregulated in this disorder. PMID:21931835

  6. Immunoactive effects of cannabinoids: considerations for the therapeutic use of cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists.

    PubMed

    Greineisen, William E; Turner, Helen

    2010-05-01

    The active constituents of Cannabis sativa have been used for centuries as recreational drugs and medicinal agents. Today, marijuana is the most prevalent drug of abuse in the United States and, conversely, therapeutic use of marijuana constituents are gaining mainstream clinical and political acceptance. Given the documented contributions of endocannabinoid signaling to a range of physiological systems, including cognitive function, and the control of eating behaviors, it is unsurprising that cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists are showing significant clinical potential. In addition to the neuroactive effects of cannabinoids, an emerging body of data suggests that both endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids are potently immunoactive. The central premise of this review article is that the immunological effects of cannabinoids should be considered in the context of each prescribing decision. We present evidence that the immunological effects of cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists are highly relevant to the spectrum of disorders for which cannabinoid therapeutics are currently offered.

  7. Immunoactive effects of cannabinoids: considerations for the therapeutic use of cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists

    PubMed Central

    Greineisen, William E.; Turner., Helen

    2013-01-01

    The active constituents of Cannabis sativa have been used for centuries as recreational drugs and medicinal agents. Today, marijuana is the most prevalent drug of abuse in the United States and, conversely, therapeutic use of marijuana constituents are gaining mainstream clinical and political acceptance. Given the documented contributions of endocannabinoid signaling to a range of physiological systems, including cognitive function, and the control of eating behaviors, it is unsurprising that cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists are showing significant clinical potential. In addition to the neuroactive effects of cannabinoids, an emerging body of data suggests that both endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids are potently immunoactive. The central premise of this review article is that the immunological effects of cannabinoids should be considered in the context of each prescribing decision. We present evidence that the immunological effects of cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists are highly relevant to the spectrum of disorders for which cannabinoid therapeutics are currently offered. PMID:20219697

  8. Cannabinoid agonists but not inhibitors of endogenous cannabinoid transport or metabolism enhance the reinforcing efficacy of heroin in rats.

    PubMed

    Solinas, Marcello; Panlilio, Leigh V; Tanda, Gianluigi; Makriyannis, Alexandros; Matthews, Stephanie A; Goldberg, Steven R

    2005-11-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that the endogenous cannabinoid system is involved in the reinforcing effects of heroin. In rats intravenously self-administering heroin, we investigated effects of cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonists and compounds that block transport or metabolism of the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide. The natural cannnabinoid CB1 receptor agonist delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, 0.3-3 mg/kg i.p.) did not alter self-administration of heroin under a fixed-ratio one (FR1) schedule, except at a high 3 mg/kg dose which decreased heroin self-administration. Under a progressive-ratio schedule, however, THC dose-dependently increased the number of 50 mug/kg heroin injections self-administered per session and the maximal ratio completed (break-point), with peak increases at 1 mg/kg THC. In addition, 1 mg/kg THC increased break-points and injections self-administered over a wide range of heroin injection doses (25-100 microg/kg), indicating an increase in heroin's reinforcing efficacy and not its potency. The synthetic cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (0.3-3 mg/kg i.p.) had effects similar to THC under the progressive-ratio schedule. In contrast, AM-404 (1-10 mg/kg i.p.), an inhibitor of transport of anandamide, and URB-597 (0.01-0.3 mg/kg i.p.), an inhibitor of the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) that degrades anandamide, or their combination, did not increase reinforcing efficacy of heroin at any dose tested. Thus, activation of cannabinoid CB1 receptors facilitates the reinforcing efficacy of heroin and this appears to be mediated by interactions between cannabinoid CB1 receptors and mu-opioid receptors and their signaling pathways, rather than by an opioid-induced release of endogenous cannabinoids.

  9. The endogenous cannabinoid system protects against colonic inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Massa, Federico; Marsicano, Giovanni; Hermann, Heike; Cannich, Astrid; Monory, Krisztina; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; Ferri, Gian-Luca; Sibaev, Andrei; Storr, Martin; Lutz, Beat

    2004-01-01

    Excessive inflammatory responses can emerge as a potential danger for organisms’ health. Physiological balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory processes constitutes an important feature of responses against harmful events. Here, we show that cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) mediate intrinsic protective signals that counteract proinflammatory responses. Both intrarectal infusion of 2,4-dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (DNBS) and oral administration of dextrane sulfate sodium induced stronger inflammation in CB1-deficient mice (CB1–/–) than in wild-type littermates (CB1+/+). Treatment of wild-type mice with the specific CB1 antagonist N-(piperidino-1-yl)-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-pyrazole-3-carboxamide (SR141716A) mimicked the phenotype of CB1–/– mice, showing an acute requirement of CB1 receptors for protection from inflammation. Consistently, treatment with the cannabinoid receptor agonist R(-)-7-hydroxy-Δ6-tetra-hydrocannabinol-dimethylheptyl (HU210) or genetic ablation of the endocannabinoid-degrading enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) resulted in protection against DNBS-induced colitis. Electrophysiological recordings from circular smooth muscle cells, performed 8 hours after DNBS treatment, revealed spontaneous oscillatory action potentials in CB1–/– but not in CB1+/+ colons, indicating an early CB1-mediated control of inflammation-induced irritation of smooth muscle cells. DNBS treatment increased the percentage of myenteric neurons expressing CB1 receptors, suggesting an enhancement of cannabinoid signaling during colitis. Our results indicate that the endogenous cannabinoid system represents a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of intestinal disease conditions characterized by excessive inflammatory responses. PMID:15085199

  10. Synthetic and endogenous cannabinoids protect retinal neurons from AMPA excitotoxicity in vivo, via activation of CB1 receptors: Involvement of PI3K/Akt and MEK/ERK signaling pathways.

    PubMed

    Kokona, Despina; Thermos, Kyriaki

    2015-07-01

    Cannabinoids have been suggested to protect retinal ganglion cells in different models of toxicity, but their effects on other retinal neurons are poorly known. We investigated the neuroprotective actions of the endocannabinoid N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine (Anandamide/AEA) and the synthetic cannabinoids R1-Methanandamide (MethAEA) and HU-210, in an in vivo retinal model of AMPA excitotoxicity, and the mechanisms involved in the neuroprotection. Sprague-Dawley rats were intravitreally injected with PBS or AMPA in the absence or presence of the cannabinoid agonists. Brain nitric oxide synthase (bNOS) and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) immunoreactivity (IR), as well as TUNEL staining, assessed the AMPA-induced retinal amacrine cell loss and the dose-dependent neuroprotection afforded by cannabinoids. The CB1 receptor selective antagonist AM251 and the PI3K/Akt inhibitor wortmannin reversed the cannabinoid-induced neuroprotection, suggesting the involvement of CB1 receptors and the PI3K/Akt pathway in cannabinoids' actions. Experiments with the CB2 agonist JWH015 and [(3)H]CP55940 radioligand binding suggested that the CB2 receptor is not involved in the neuroprotection. AEA and HU-210 induced phosphorylation of Akt but only AEA induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2 kinases, as revealed by western blot analysis. To investigate the role of caspase-3 in the AMPA-induced cell death, the caspase-3 inhibitor Z-DEVD-FMK was co-injected with AMPA. Z-DEVD-FMK had no effect on AMPA excitotoxicity. Moreover, no difference was observed in the phosphorylation of SAPK/JNK kinases between PBS- and AMPA-treated retinas. These results suggest that endogenous and synthetic cannabinoids protect retinal amacrine neurons from AMPA excitotoxicity in vivo via a mechanism involving the CB1 receptors, and the PI3K/Akt and/or MEK/ERK1/2 signaling pathways.

  11. Cannabinoid receptor localization in brain

    SciTech Connect

    Herkenham, M.; Lynn, A.B.; Little, M.D.; Johnson, M.R.; Melvin, L.S.; de Costa, B.R.; Rice, K.C. )

    1990-03-01

    (3H)CP 55,940, a radiolabeled synthetic cannabinoid, which is 10-100 times more potent in vivo than delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, was used to characterize and localize a specific cannabinoid receptor in brain sections. The potencies of a series of natural and synthetic cannabinoids as competitors of (3H)CP 55,940 binding correlated closely with their relative potencies in several biological assays, suggesting that the receptor characterized in our in vitro assay is the same receptor that mediates behavioral and pharmacological effects of cannabinoids, including human subjective experience. Autoradiography of cannabinoid receptors in brain sections from several mammalian species, including human, reveals a unique and conserved distribution; binding is most dense in outflow nuclei of the basal ganglia--the substantia nigra pars reticulata and globus pallidus--and in the hippocampus and cerebellum. Generally high densities in forebrain and cerebellum implicate roles for cannabinoids in cognition and movement. Sparse densities in lower brainstem areas controlling cardiovascular and respiratory functions may explain why high doses of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol are not lethal.

  12. Cellular approaches to the interaction between cannabinoid receptor ligands and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Oz, Murat; Al Kury, Lina; Keun-Hang, Susan Yang; Mahgoub, Mohamed; Galadari, Sehamuddin

    2014-05-15

    Cannabinoids are among the earliest known drugs to humanity. Cannabis plant contains various phytochemicals that bind to cannabinoid receptors. In addition, synthetic and endogenously produced cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) constitute other classes of cannabinoid receptor ligands. Although many pharmacological effects of these cannabinoids are mediated by the activation of cannabinoid receptors, recent studies indicate that cannabinoids also modulate the functions of various integral membrane proteins including ion channels, receptors, neurotransmitter transporters, and enzymes by mechanism(s) not involving the activation of known cannabinoid receptors. Currently, the mechanisms of these effects were not fully understood. However, it is likely that direct actions of cannabinoids are closely linked to their lipophilic structures. This report will focus on the actions of cannabinoids on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and will examine the results of recent studies in this field. In addition some mechanistic approaches will be provided. The results discussed in this review indicate that, besides cannabinoid receptors, further molecular targets for cannabinoids exist and that these targets may represent important novel sites to alter neuronal excitability. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Cannabinoid and cannabinoid-like receptors in microglia, astrocytes and astrocytomas

    PubMed Central

    Stella, Nephi

    2010-01-01

    CB1 and CB2 receptors are activated by a plethora of cannabinoid compounds, be they endogenously-produced, plant-derived or synthetic. These receptors are expressed by microglia, astrocytes and astrocytomas, and their activation regulates these cells’ differentiation, functions and viability. Recent studies show that glial cells also express cannabinoid-like receptors, and that their activation regulates different cell functions, but also control cell viability. This review summarizes this evidence, and discusses how selective compounds targeting cannabinoid-like receptors constitute promising therapeutics to manage neuroinflammation and eradicate malignant astrocytomas. Importantly, the selective targeting of cannabinoid-like receptors should provide therapeutic relieve without inducing the typical psychotropic effects and possible addictive properties associated with the use of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychotropic ingredient produced by the plant Cannabis sativa. PMID:20468046

  14. Cannabinoid receptor type-1: breaking the dogmas

    PubMed Central

    Busquets Garcia, Arnau; Soria-Gomez, Edgar; Bellocchio, Luigi; Marsicano, Giovanni

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is abundantly expressed in the brain. This system regulates a plethora of physiological functions and is composed of cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids), and the enzymes involved in the metabolism of endocannabinoids. In this review, we highlight the new advances in cannabinoid signaling, focusing on a key component of the ECS, the type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB 1). In recent years, the development of new imaging and molecular tools has demonstrated that this receptor can be distributed in many cell types (e.g., neuronal or glial cells) and intracellular compartments (e.g., mitochondria). Interestingly, cellular and molecular effects are differentially mediated by CB 1 receptors according to their specific localization (e.g., glutamatergic or GABAergic neurons). Moreover, this receptor is expressed in the periphery, where it can modulate periphery-brain connections. Finally, the better understanding of the CB 1 receptor structure led researchers to propose interesting and new allosteric modulators. Thus, the advances and the new directions of the CB 1 receptor field will provide new insights and better approaches to profit from its interesting therapeutic profile. PMID:27239293

  15. Exogenous delta⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol influences circulating endogenous cannabinoids in humans.

    PubMed

    Walter, Carmen; Ferreirós, Nerea; Bishay, Philipp; Geisslinger, Gerd; Tegeder, Irmgard; Lötsch, Jörn

    2013-10-01

    Delta⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) competes with the endogenous cannabinoids arachidonoyl ethanolamide (anandamide) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) at cannabinoid receptors. This may cause adaptive changes in the endocannabinoid signaling cascade with possible consequences for the biological functions of the endocannabinoid system. We show that administration of a single oral dose of 20 mg THC to 30 healthy volunteers resulted in higher circulating concentrations of anandamide, 2-AG, palmitoyl ethanolamide, and oleoylethanolamide at 2 and 3 hours after administration as compared with placebo. At 2 hours after THC administration, changes in oleoylethanolamide plasma concentrations from baseline were linearly related to the THC plasma concentrations. In rats, treatment with the CB₁/CB₂ agonist WIN 55,212 also increased plasma endocannabinoid concentrations. However, this was associated with a decrease of ethanolamide endocannabinoids in specific brain regions including spinal cord, cortex, and hypothalamus; whereas 2-arachidonoyl glycerol increased in the cortex. Thus, administration of THC to human volunteers influenced the concentrations of circulating endocannabinoids, which was mimicked by WIN-55,212 in rats, suggesting that exogenous cannabinoids may lead to changes in the endocannabinoid system that can be detected in plasma.

  16. The endogenous cannabinoid anandamide and its synthetic analog R(+)-methanandamide are intravenously self-administered by squirrel monkeys.

    PubMed

    Justinova, Zuzana; Solinas, Marcello; Tanda, Gianluigi; Redhi, Godfrey H; Goldberg, Steven R

    2005-06-08

    Anandamide, an endogenous ligand for brain cannabinoid CB(1) receptors, produces many behavioral effects similar to those of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Reinforcing effects of THC have been demonstrated in experimental animals, but there is only indirect evidence that endogenous cannabinoids such as anandamide participate in brain reward processes. We now show that anandamide serves as an effective reinforcer of drug-taking behavior when self-administered intravenously by squirrel monkeys. We also show that methanandamide, a synthetic long-lasting anandamide analog, similarly serves as a reinforcer of drug-taking behavior. Finally, we show that the reinforcing effects of both anandamide and methanandamide are blocked by pretreatment with the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist rimonabant (SR141716). These findings strongly suggest that release of endogenous cannabinoids is involved in brain reward processes and that activation of cannabinoid CB(1) receptors by anandamide could be part of the signaling of natural rewarding events.

  17. Functional role of cannabinoid receptors in urinary bladder

    PubMed Central

    Tyagi, Pradeep; Tyagi, Vikas; Yoshimura, Naoki; Chancellor, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Cannabinoids, the active components of Cannabis sativa (maijuana), and their derivatives produce a wide spectrum of central and peripheral effects, some of which may have clinical applications. The discovery of specific cannabinoid receptors and a family of endogenous ligands of those receptors has attracted much attention to the general cannabinoid pharmacology. In recent years, studies on the functional role of cannabinoid receptors in bladder have been motivated by the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids on voiding dysfunction in multiple sclerosis patients. In this review, we shall summarize the literature on the expression of cannabinoid receptors in urinary bladder and the peripheral influence of locally and systemically administered cannabinoids in the bladder. The ongoing search for cannabinoid-based therapeutic strategies devoid of psychotropic effects can be complemented with local delivery into bladder by the intravesical route. A greater understanding of the role of the peripheral CB1 and CB2 receptor system in lower urinary tract is necessary to allow the development of new treatment for pelvic disorders. PMID:20535281

  18. Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Transactivation by the Cannabinoid Receptor (CB1) and Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) Induces Differential Responses in Corneal Epithelial Cells

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-01

    Epidermal growth factor receptor transactivation by the cannabinoid receptor (CB1) and transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 ( TRPV1 ) induces...Available online 7 July 2010 Keywords: cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 ( TRPV1 ) epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR...release of endogenous metabolites that are cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 ( TRPV1 ) agonists. We determined

  19. 2-arachidonoylglycerol, an endogenous cannabinoid receptor ligand, induces rapid actin polymerization in HL-60 cells differentiated into macrophage-like cells.

    PubMed

    Gokoh, Maiko; Kishimoto, Seishi; Oka, Saori; Mori, Masahiro; Waku, Keizo; Ishima, Yoshio; Sugiura, Takayuki

    2005-03-15

    Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, a major psychoactive constituent of marijuana, interacts with specific receptors, i.e. the cannabinoid receptors, thereby eliciting a variety of pharmacological responses. To date, two types of cannabinoid receptors have been identified: the CB1 receptor, which is abundantly expressed in the nervous system, and the CB2 receptor, which is predominantly expressed in the immune system. Previously, we investigated in detail the structure-activity relationship of various cannabinoid receptor ligands and found that 2-AG (2-arachidonoylglycerol) is the most efficacious agonist. We have proposed that 2-AG is the true natural ligand for both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Despite the potential physiological importance of 2-AG, not much information is available concerning its biological activities towards mammalian tissues and cells. In the present study, we examined the effect of 2-AG on morphology as well as the actin filament system in differentiated HL-60 cells, which express the CB2 receptor. We found that 2-AG induces rapid morphological changes such as the extension of pseudopods. We also found that it provokes a rapid actin polymerization in these cells. Actin polymerization induced by 2-AG was abolished when cells were treated with SR144528, a CB2 receptor antagonist, and pertussis toxin, suggesting that the response was mediated by the CB2 receptor and G(i/o). A phosphoinositide 3-kinase, Rho family small G-proteins and a tyrosine kinase were also suggested to be involved. Reorganization of the actin filament system is known to be indispensable for a variety of cellular events; it is possible that 2-AG plays physiologically essential roles in various inflammatory cells and immune-competent cells by inducing a rapid actin rearrangement.

  20. Oxaza adamantyl cannabinoids. A new class of cannabinoid receptor probes.

    PubMed

    Le Goanvic, David; Tius, Marcus A

    2006-09-29

    The preparation of C3 oxaza adamantyl cannabinoids has been described starting from phloroglucinol. Straightforward manipulations of the aromatic ring lead to a bromononaflate that is a benzyne precursor and that serves as a common intermediate for the synthesis of diverse C3-substituted tricyclic cannabinoids. Generation of the benzyne in the presence of an oxaza adamantyl amide anion results in efficient and regiospecific addition to C3 of the aromatic ring. This represents an attractive strategy for the synthesis of classical tricyclic cannabinoids that bear a modified aromatic appendage. The oxaza adamantyl cannabinoids that have been prepared represent a new class of ligands for the CB1 and CB2 receptors.

  1. TRP channel cannabinoid receptors in skin sensation, homeostasis, and inflammation.

    PubMed

    Caterina, Michael J

    2014-11-19

    In the skin, cannabinoid lipids, whether of endogenous or exogenous origin, are capable of regulating numerous sensory, homeostatic, and inflammatory events. Although many of these effects are mediated by metabotropic cannabinoid receptors, a growing body of evidence has revealed that multiple members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channel family can act as "ionotropic cannabinoid receptors". Furthermore, many of these same TRP channels are intimately involved in cutaneous processes that include the initiation of pain, temperature, and itch perception, the maintenance of epidermal homeostasis, the regulation of hair follicles and sebaceous glands, and the modulation of dermatitis. Ionotropic cannabinoid receptors therefore represent potentially attractive targets for the therapeutic use of cannabinoids to treat sensory and dermatological diseases. Furthermore, the interactions between neurons and other cell types that are mediated by cutaneous ionotropic cannabinoid receptors are likely to be recapitulated during physiological and pathophysiological processes in the central nervous system and elsewhere, making the skin an ideal setting in which to dissect general complexities of cannabinoid signaling.

  2. TRP Channel Cannabinoid Receptors in Skin Sensation, Homeostasis, and Inflammation

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    In the skin, cannabinoid lipids, whether of endogenous or exogenous origin, are capable of regulating numerous sensory, homeostatic, and inflammatory events. Although many of these effects are mediated by metabotropic cannabinoid receptors, a growing body of evidence has revealed that multiple members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channel family can act as “ionotropic cannabinoid receptors”. Furthermore, many of these same TRP channels are intimately involved in cutaneous processes that include the initiation of pain, temperature, and itch perception, the maintenance of epidermal homeostasis, the regulation of hair follicles and sebaceous glands, and the modulation of dermatitis. Ionotropic cannabinoid receptors therefore represent potentially attractive targets for the therapeutic use of cannabinoids to treat sensory and dermatological diseases. Furthermore, the interactions between neurons and other cell types that are mediated by cutaneous ionotropic cannabinoid receptors are likely to be recapitulated during physiological and pathophysiological processes in the central nervous system and elsewhere, making the skin an ideal setting in which to dissect general complexities of cannabinoid signaling. PMID:24915599

  3. Cannabinoid Receptors: Nomenclature and Pharmacological Principles

    PubMed Central

    Console-Bram, Linda; Marcu, Jahan; Abood, Mary E.

    2012-01-01

    The CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors are members of the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family that are pharmacologically well defined. However, the discovery of additional sites of action for endocannabinoids as well as synthetic cannabinoid compounds suggests the existence of additional cannabinoid receptors. Here we review this evidence, as well as the current nomenclature for classifying a target as a cannabinoid receptor. Basic pharmacological definitions, principles and experimental conditions are discussed in order to place in context the mechanisms underlying cannabinoid receptor activation. Constitutive (agonist-independent) activity is observed with the overexpression of many GPCRs, including cannabinoid receptors. Allosteric modulators can alter the pharmacological responses of cannabinoid receptors. The complex molecular architecture of each of the cannabinoid receptors allows for a single receptor to recognize multiple classes of compounds and produce an array of distinct downstream effects. Natural polymorphisms and alternative splice variants may also contribute to their pharmacological diversity. As our knowledge of the distinct differences grows, we may be able to target select receptor conformations and their corresponding pharmacological responses. Importantly, the basic biology of the endocannabinoid system will continue to be revealed by ongoing investigations. PMID:22421596

  4. Evaluation of the endogenous cannabinoid system in mediating the behavioral effects of dipyrone (metamizol) in mice.

    PubMed

    Schlosburg, Joel E; Radanova, Lilyana; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Imming, Peter; Lichtman, Aron H

    2012-10-01

    Dipyrone is a common nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic, which, in many countries, is available over the counter and is more widely used than paracetamol or aspirin. However, the exact mechanisms by which dipyrone acts remain inconclusive. Two novel arachidonoyl-conjugated metabolites are formed in mice following the administration of dipyrone that are dependent on the activity of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which also represents the major catabolic enzyme of the endogenous cannabinoid ligand anandamide. These arachidonoyl metabolites not only inhibit cyclooxygenase (COX-1/COX-2) but also bind to cannabinoid receptors at low micromolar concentrations. The relative contributions of cannabinoid receptors and FAAH in the overall behavioral response to dipyrone remain untested. Accordingly, the two primary objectives of the present study were to determine whether the behavioral effects of dipyrone would (a) be blocked by cannabinoid receptor antagonists and (b) occur in FAAH mice. Here, we report that thermal antinociceptive, hypothermic, and locomotor suppressive actions of dipyrone are mediated by a noncannabinoid receptor mechanism of action and occurred after acute or repeated administration irrespective of FAAH. These findings indicate that FAAH-dependent arachidonoyl metabolites and cannabinoid receptors are not requisites by which dipyrone exerts these pharmacological effects under noninflammatory conditions.

  5. Evaluation of the endogenous cannabinoid system in mediating the behavioral effects of dipyrone (metamizol) in mice

    PubMed Central

    Schlosburg, Joel E.; Radanova, Lilyana; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Imming, Peter; Lichtman, Aron H.

    2013-01-01

    Dipyrone is a common nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic, which, in many countries, is available over the counter and is more widely used than paracetamol or aspirin. However, the exact mechanisms by which dipyrone acts remain inconclusive. Two novel arachidonoyl-conjugated metabolites are formed in mice following the administration of dipyrone that are dependent on the activity of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which also represents the major catabolic enzyme of the endogenous cannabinoid ligand anandamide. These arachidonoyl metabolites not only inhibit cyclooxygenase (COX-1/COX-2) but also bind to cannabinoid receptors at low micromolar concentrations. The relative contributions of cannabinoid receptors and FAAH in the overall behavioral response to dipyrone remain untested. Accordingly, the two primary objectives of the present study were to determine whether the behavioral effects of dipyrone would (a) be blocked by cannabinoid receptor antagonists and (b) occur in FAAH−/− mice. Here, we report that thermal antinociceptive, hypothermic, and locomotor suppressive actions of dipyrone are mediated by a noncannabinoid receptor mechanism of action and occurred after acute or repeated administration irrespective of FAAH. These findings indicate that FAAH-dependent arachidonoyl metabolites and cannabinoid receptors are not requisites by which dipyrone exerts these pharmacological effects under noninflammatory conditions. PMID:22954646

  6. Signal transduction activated by cannabinoid receptors.

    PubMed

    Díaz-Laviada, Inés; Ruiz-Llorente, Lidia

    2005-07-01

    Since the discovery that cannabinoids exert biological actions through binding to specific receptors, signal mechanisms triggered by these receptors have been focus of extensive study. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the signalling events produced by cannabinoids from membrane receptors to downstream regulators. Two types of cannabinoid receptors have been identified to date: CB(1) and CB(2) both belonging to the heptahelichoidal receptor family but with different tissue distribution and signalling mechanisms. Coupling to inhibitory guanine nucleotide-binding protein and thus inhibition of adenylyl cyclase has been observed in both receptors but other signal transduction pathways that are regulated or not by these G proteins are differently activated upon ligand-receptor binding including ion channels, sphingomyelin hydrolysis, ceramide generation, phospholipases activation and downstream targets as MAP kinase cascade, PI3K, FAK or NOS regulation. Cannabinoids may also act independently of CB(1)or CB(2) receptors. The existence of new unidentified putative cannabinoid receptors has been claimed by many investigators. Endocannabinoids activate vanilloid TRPV1 receptors that may mediate some of the cannabinoid effects. Other actions of cannabinoids can occur through non-receptor-mediated mechanisms.

  7. Attenuation of experimental autoimmune hepatitis by exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids: involvement of regulatory T cells.

    PubMed

    Hegde, Venkatesh L; Hegde, Shweta; Cravatt, Benjamin F; Hofseth, Lorne J; Nagarkatti, Mitzi; Nagarkatti, Prakash S

    2008-07-01

    Immune-mediated liver diseases including autoimmune and viral hepatitis are a major health problem worldwide. Natural cannabinoids such as Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) effectively modulate immune cell function, and they have shown therapeutic potential in treating inflammatory diseases. We investigated the effects of THC in a murine model of concanavalin A (ConA)-induced hepatitis. Intraperitoneal administration of THC after ConA challenge inhibited hepatitis as shown by significant decrease in liver enzymes and reduced liver tissue injury. Furthermore, THC treatment resulted in significant suppression of crucial inflammatory cytokines in ConA-induced hepatitis. It is noteworthy that THC treatment in ConA-injected mice led to significant increase in absolute number of Forkhead helix transcription factor p3+ T regulatory cells in liver. We were surprised to find that select cannabinoid receptor (CB1 or CB2) agonists were not able to block hepatitis either independently or in combination. However, CB1/CB2 mixed agonists were able to efficiently attenuate hepatitis similar to THC. The modulatory effect of THC in ConA-induced hepatitis was reversed by both CB1 and CB2 antagonists. We also observed that endogenous cannabinoid anandamide was able to reduce hepatitis by suppressing cytokine levels. In addition, deficiency or inhibition of endocannabinoid hydrolyzing enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which leads to increased levels of endogenous cannabinoids, resulted in decreased liver injury upon ConA challenge. Our data demonstrate that targeting cannabinoid receptors using exogenous or endogenous cannabinoids and use of FAAH inhibitors may constitute novel therapeutic modalities to treat immune-mediated liver inflammation.

  8. Role of the Endogenous Cannabinoid System in Nicotine Addiction: Novel Insights

    PubMed Central

    Gamaleddin, Islam Hany; Trigo, Jose M.; Gueye, Aliou B.; Zvonok, Alexander; Makriyannis, Alexandros; Goldberg, Steven R.; Le Foll, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    Several lines of evidence have shown that the endogenous cannabinoids are implicated in several neuropsychiatric diseases. Notably, preclinical and human clinical studies have shown a pivotal role of the cannabinoid system in nicotine addiction. The CB1 receptor inverse agonist/antagonist rimonabant (also known as SR141716) was effective to decrease nicotine-taking and nicotine-seeking in rodents, as well as the elevation of dopamine induced by nicotine in brain reward area. Rimonabant has been shown to improve the ability of smokers to quit smoking in randomized clinical trials. However, rimonabant was removed from the market due to increased risk of psychiatric side-effects observed in humans. Recently, other components of the endogenous cannabinoid system have been explored. Here, we present the recent advances on the understanding of the role of the different components of the cannabinoid system on nicotine’s effects. Those recent findings suggest possible alternative ways of modulating the cannabinoid system that could have implication for nicotine dependence treatment. PMID:25859226

  9. The endogenous cannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol is intravenously self-administered by squirrel monkeys.

    PubMed

    Justinová, Zuzana; Yasar, Sevil; Redhi, Godfrey H; Goldberg, Steven R

    2011-05-11

    Two endogenous ligands for cannabinoid CB1 receptors, anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), have been identified and characterized. 2-AG is the most prevalent endogenous cannabinoid ligand in the brain, and electrophysiological studies suggest 2-AG, rather than anandamide, is the true natural ligand for cannabinoid receptors and the key endocannabinoid involved in retrograde signaling in the brain. Here, we evaluated intravenously administered 2-AG for reinforcing effects in nonhuman primates. Squirrel monkeys that previously self-administered anandamide or nicotine under a fixed-ratio schedule with a 60 s timeout after each injection had their self-administration behavior extinguished by vehicle substitution and were then given the opportunity to self-administer 2-AG. Intravenous 2-AG was a very effective reinforcer of drug-taking behavior, maintaining higher numbers of self-administered injections per session and higher rates of responding than vehicle across a wide range of doses. To assess involvement of CB1 receptors in the reinforcing effects of 2-AG, we pretreated monkeys with the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor inverse agonist/antagonist rimonabant [N-piperidino-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methylpyrazole-3-carboxamide]. Rimonabant produced persistent blockade of 2-AG self-administration without affecting responding maintained by food under similar conditions. Thus, 2-AG was actively self-administered by monkeys with or without a history of cannabinoid self-administration, and the reinforcing effects of 2-AG were mediated by CB1 receptors. Self-administration of 2-AG by squirrel monkeys provides a valuable procedure for studying abuse liability of medications that interfere with 2-AG signaling within the brain and for investigating mechanisms involved in the reinforcing effects of endocannabinoids.

  10. Cannabinoid ligand-receptor signaling in the mouse uterus.

    PubMed Central

    Das, S K; Paria, B C; Chakraborty, I; Dey, S K

    1995-01-01

    Using RNA (Northern) blot hybridization and reverse transcription-PCR, we demonstrate that the brain-type cannabinoid receptor (CB1-R) mRNA, but not the spleen-type cannabinoid receptor (CB2-R) mRNA, is expressed in the mouse uterus and that this organ has the capacity to synthesize the putative endogenous cannabinoid ligand, anandamide (arachidonylethanolamide). The psychoactive cannabinoid component of marijuana--delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)--or anandamide, but not the inactive and nonpsychoactive cannabidiol (CBD), inhibited forskolin-stimulated cyclic AMP formation in the mouse uterus, which was prevented by pertussis toxin pretreatment. These results suggest that uterine CB1-R is coupled to inhibitory guanine nucleotide-binding protein and is biologically active. Autoradiographic studies identified ligand binding sites ([3H]anandamide) in the uterine epithelium and stromal cells, suggesting that these cells are perhaps the targets for cannabinoid action. Scatchard analysis of the binding of [3H]WIN 55212-2, another cannabinoid receptor ligand, showed a single class of high-affinity binding sites in the endometrium with an apparent Kd of 2.4 nM and Bmax of 5.4 x 10(9) molecules per mg of protein. The gene encoding lactoferrin is an estrogen-responsive gene in the mouse uterus that was rapidly and transiently up-regulated by THC, but not by CBD, in ovariectomized mice in the absence of ovarian steroids. This effect, unlike that of 17 beta-estradiol (E2), was not influenced by a pure antiestrogen, ICI 182780, suggesting that the THC-induced uterine lactoferrin gene expression does not involve estrogen receptors. We propose that the uterus is a new target for cannabinoid ligand-receptor signaling. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:7753807

  11. Peripheral metabolic effects of endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptor blockade.

    PubMed

    Engeli, Stefan

    2008-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system consists of endogenous arachidonic acid derivates that activate cannabinoid receptors. The two most prominent endocannabinoids are anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol. In obesity, increased concentrations of circulating and tissue endocannabinoid levels have been described, suggesting increased activity of the endocannabinoid system. Increased availability of endocannabinoids in obesity may over-stimulate cannabinoid receptors. Blockade of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors was the only successful clinical development of an anti-obesity drug during the last decade. Whereas blockade of CB1 receptors acutely reduces food intake, the long-term effects on metabolic regulation are more likely mediated by peripheral actions in liver, skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, and the pancreas. Lipogenic effects of CB1 receptor signalling in liver and adipose tissue may contribute to regional adipose tissue expansion and insulin resistance in the fatty liver. The association of circulating 2-arachidonoyl glycerol levels with decreased insulin sensitivity strongly suggests further exploration of the role of endocannabinoid signalling for insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle, liver, and adipose tissue. A few studies have suggested a specific role for the regulation of adiponectin secretion from adipocytes by endocannabinoids, but that has to be confirmed by more experiments. Also, the potential role of CB1 receptor blockade for the stimulation of energy expenditure needs to be studied in the future. Despite the current discussion of safety issues of cannabinoid receptor blockade, these findings open a new and exciting perspective on endocannabinoids as regulators of body weight and metabolism.

  12. Critical role of the endogenous cannabinoid system in mouse pup suckling and growth.

    PubMed

    Fride, E; Ginzburg, Y; Breuer, A; Bisogno, T; Di Marzo, V; Mechoulam, R

    2001-05-11

    Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the active principle in marijuana, is a cannabinoid receptor agonist. Both the crude drug and delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol have been used as appetite promoters. The endogenous cannabinoid, arachidonoyl ethanolamide (anandamide), likewise a cannabinoid receptor agonist, has been shown to have the same effect. In contrast, the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1-H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide (SR141716A) reduces food intake. Here, we report that administration of SR141716A to newly born mouse pups (either a single administration on postnatal day 1, or daily for a week as of postnatal day 2) had a devastating effect on milk ingestion and growth. The first 24 h after birth appeared the most critical for the growth stunting effect of SR141716A. Death followed within 4-8 days. Co-administration of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol almost fully reversed the effect of the antagonist in the week-long regimen. Co-administration of 2-arachidonoyl glycerol, an endocannabinoid, with 2-palmitoyl glycerol and 2-linoleoyl glycerol, which enhance 2-arachidonoyl glycerol potency, resulted in a significant delay in mortality rates caused by the antagonist. We conclude that the endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in milk suckling, and hence in growth and development during the early stages of mouse life.

  13. Reducing cannabinoid abuse and preventing relapse by enhancing endogenous brain levels of kynurenic acid

    PubMed Central

    Justinova, Zuzana; Mascia, Paola; Wu, Hui-Qiu; Secci, Maria E.; Redhi, Godfrey H.; Panlilio, Leigh V.; Scherma, Maria; Barnes, Chanel; Parashos, Alexandra; Zara, Tamara; Fratta, Walter; Solinas, Marcello; Pistis, Marco; Bergman, Jack; Kangas, Brian D.; Ferré, Sergi; Tanda, Gianluigi; Schwarcz, Robert; Goldberg, Steven R.

    2013-01-01

    In the reward circuitry of the brain, alpha-7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7nAChRs) modulate effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana’s main psychoactive ingredient. Kynurenic acid (KYNA) is an endogenous negative allosteric modulator of α7nAChRs. Here we report that the kynurenine 3-monooxygenase (KMO) inhibitor Ro 61-8048 increases brain KYNA levels and attenuates cannabinoid-induced increases in extracellular dopamine in reward-related brain areas. In the self-administration model of drug abuse, Ro 61-8048 reduced the rewarding effects of THC and the synthetic cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 in squirrel monkeys and rats, respectively, and it also prevented relapse to drug-seeking induced by re-exposure to cannabinoids or cannabinoid-associated cues. The effects of enhancing endogenous KYNA levels with Ro 61-8048 were prevented by positive allosteric modulators of α7nAChRs. Despite a clear need, there are currently no medications approved for treatment of marijuana dependence. Modulation of KYNA provides a novel pharmacological strategy for achieving abstinence from marijuana and preventing relapse. PMID:24121737

  14. Reducing cannabinoid abuse and preventing relapse by enhancing endogenous brain levels of kynurenic acid.

    PubMed

    Justinova, Zuzana; Mascia, Paola; Wu, Hui-Qiu; Secci, Maria E; Redhi, Godfrey H; Panlilio, Leigh V; Scherma, Maria; Barnes, Chanel; Parashos, Alexandra; Zara, Tamara; Fratta, Walter; Solinas, Marcello; Pistis, Marco; Bergman, Jack; Kangas, Brian D; Ferré, Sergi; Tanda, Gianluigi; Schwarcz, Robert; Goldberg, Steven R

    2013-11-01

    In the reward circuitry of the brain, α-7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7nAChRs) modulate effects of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana's main psychoactive ingredient. Kynurenic acid (KYNA) is an endogenous negative allosteric modulator of α7nAChRs. Here we report that the kynurenine 3-monooxygenase (KMO) inhibitor Ro 61-8048 increases brain KYNA levels and attenuates cannabinoid-induced increases in extracellular dopamine in reward-related brain areas. In the self-administration model of drug abuse, Ro 61-8048 reduced the rewarding effects of THC and the synthetic cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 in squirrel monkeys and rats, respectively, and it also prevented relapse to drug-seeking induced by reexposure to cannabinoids or cannabinoid-associated cues. The effects of enhancing endogenous KYNA levels with Ro 61-8048 were prevented by positive allosteric modulators of α7nAChRs. Despite a clear need, there are no medications approved for treatment of marijuana dependence. Modulation of KYNA offers a pharmacological strategy for achieving abstinence from marijuana and preventing relapse.

  15. Anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid, inhibits Shaker-related voltage-gated K+ channels.

    PubMed

    Poling, J S; Rogawski, M A; Salem, N; Vicini, S

    1996-01-01

    Anandamide has been identified in porcine brain as an endogenous cannabinoid receptor ligand and is believed to be a counterpart to the psychoactive component of marijuana, delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 9-THC). Here we report that anandamide directly inhibits (IC50, 2.7 muM) Shaker-related Kv1.2 K+ channels that are found ubiquitously in the mammalian brain. Delta 9-THC also inhibited Kv1.2 channels with comparable potency (IC50, 2.4 muM), as did several N-acyl-ethanolamides with cannabinoid receptor binding activity. Potassium current inhibition occurred through a pertussis toxin-insensitive mechanism and was not prevented by the cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR141716A. Utilizing excised patches of Kv1.2 channel-rich membrane as a rapid and sensitive bioassay, we found that phospholipase D stimulated the release of an endogenous anandamide-like K+ channel blocker from rat brain slices. Structure-activity studies were consistent with the possibility that the released blocker was either anandamide or another N-acyl-ethanolamide.

  16. Evidence for both inverse agonism at the cannabinoid CB1 receptor and the lack of an endogenous cannabinoid tone in the rat and guinea-pig isolated ileum myenteric plexus-longitudinal muscle preparation

    PubMed Central

    Makwana, R; Molleman, A; Parsons, ME

    2010-01-01

    Background and purpose: Cannabinoid receptor agonists reduce intestinal propulsion in rodents through the CB1 receptor. In addition to its antagonistic activity at this receptor, rimonabant (N-(piperidino)-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-3-pyrazole-carboxyamide) alone augments intestinal transit. Using rat and guinea-pig ileum MPLM (myenteric plexus-longitudinal muscle) preparations, we investigated whether the latter effect was through inverse agonism or antagonism of endocannabinoid agonist(s). Experimental approach: Inverse agonism was investigated by comparing the maximal enhancement of electrically evoked contractions of the MPLM by two CB1 receptor antagonists, AM 251 (N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide) and O-2050 [(6aR,10aR)-3-(1-methanesulphonylamino-4-hexyn-6-yl)-6a,7,10,10a-tetrahydro-6,6,9-trimethyl-6-H-dibenzo[b,d]pyran], with that produced by rimonabant. To reveal ongoing endocannabinoid activity, effects of inhibiting endocannabinoid hydrolysis by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) using AA-5HT (arachidonyl-5-hydroxytryptamine), PMSF (phenylmethylsulphonyl fluoride) or URB-597 (3′-carbamoyl-biphenyl-3-yl-cyclohexylcarbamate), or putative uptake using VDM-11 [(5Z,8Z,11Z,14Z)-N-(4-hydroxy-2-methylphenyl)-5,8,11,14-eicosatetraenamide] was evaluated. Key results: The presence of CB1 receptors was revealed by antagonism of exogenous anandamide, arachidonylethanolamide (AEA) and WIN 55,212-2 [(R)-(+)-[2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-(4-morpholinylmethyl)-pyrrolo[1,2,3-de]-1,4-benzoxazin-6-yl]-1-naphthalenylmethanone mesylate] by rimonabant. The rank order of potentiation of contractions was AM 251 > rimonabant > O-2050. Neither the FAAH inhibitors nor VDM-11 affected electrically evoked contractions. Each FAAH inhibitor increased the potency of AEA but not WIN 55,212-2. VDM-11 did not alter the inhibitory effect of AEA. Conclusions and implications: The different levels of maximal

  17. Cannabinoid receptor activation shifts temporally engendered patterns of dopamine release.

    PubMed

    Oleson, Erik B; Cachope, Roger; Fitoussi, Aurelie; Tsutsui, Kimberly; Wu, Sharon; Gallegos, Jacqueline A; Cheer, Joseph F

    2014-05-01

    The ability to discern temporally pertinent environmental events is essential for the generation of adaptive behavior in conventional tasks, and our overall survival. Cannabinoids are thought to disrupt temporally controlled behaviors by interfering with dedicated brain timing networks. Cannabinoids also increase dopamine release within the mesolimbic system, a neural pathway generally implicated in timing behavior. Timing can be assessed using fixed-interval (FI) schedules, which reinforce behavior on the basis of time. To date, it remains unknown how cannabinoids modulate dopamine release when responding under FI conditions, and for that matter, how subsecond dopamine release is related to time in these tasks. In the present study, we hypothesized that cannabinoids would accelerate timing behavior in an FI task while concurrently augmenting a temporally relevant pattern of dopamine release. To assess this possibility, we measured subsecond dopamine concentrations in the nucleus accumbens while mice responded for food under the influence of the cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 in an FI task. Our data reveal that accumbal dopamine concentrations decrease proportionally to interval duration--suggesting that dopamine encodes time in FI tasks. We further demonstrate that WIN 55,212-2 dose-dependently increases dopamine release and accelerates a temporal behavioral response pattern in a CB1 receptor-dependent manner--suggesting that cannabinoid receptor activation modifies timing behavior, in part, by augmenting time-engendered patterns of dopamine release. Additional investigation uncovered a specific role for endogenous cannabinoid tone in timing behavior, as elevations in 2-arachidonoylglycerol, but not anandamide, significantly accelerated the temporal response pattern in a manner akin to WIN 55,212-2.

  18. CB1 cannabinoid receptor-mediated neurite remodeling in mouse neuroblastoma N1E-115 cells.

    PubMed

    Zhou, D; Song, Z H

    2001-08-15

    The morphological remodeling of neuronal cells influences neurogenesis and brain functions. We hypothesize that psychoactive and neurotoxic effects of cannabinoids may be mediated, at least in part, by their morphoregulatory activities. In the present study, mouse neuroblastoma N1E-115 cells were used as an in vitro model to investigate cannabinoid-induced neurite remodeling effects and to identify the involvement of cannabinoid receptors in this neurite remodeling process. Using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and immunofluorescence microscopy, the endogenously expressed CB1, but not CB2, cannabinoid receptors were detected in morphologically differentiated N1E-115 cells. Activation of these natively expressed CB1 cannabinoid receptors by cannabinoid agonist HU-210 led to a concentration-dependent inhibition of adenylate cyclase activity. Importantly, HU-210 treatment induced neurite retraction in a concentration-dependent manner. Pretreatment of N1E-115 cells with a CB1 antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) suppressed HU-210-induced inhibition of forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation, indicating that the knocking down of functional CB1 cannabinoid receptor expression was achieved. Antisense ODN pretreatment also abolished HU-210-induced neurite retraction, demonstrating the involvement of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in mediating the neurite remodeling effects of HU-210. In addition, reversing HU-210-induced intracellular cAMP declination by 8-Br-cAMP partially prevented HU-210-induced neurite retraction, indicating the involvement of cAMP-dependent signaling pathways in mediating the neurite remodeling function of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in N1E-115 cells. These data demonstrate that neurite remodeling is a newly discovered function of CB1 cannabinoid receptors. This morphoregulatory function of CB1 cannabinoid receptors might be a new mechanism that mediates the psychoactive and neurotoxic effects of cannabinoids in developing and adult brain.

  19. Direct inhibition of T-type calcium channels by the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide

    PubMed Central

    Chemin, Jean; Monteil, Arnaud; Perez-Reyes, Edward; Nargeot, Joël; Lory, Philippe

    2001-01-01

    Low-voltage-activated or T-type Ca2+ channels (T-channels) are widely expressed, especially in the central nervous system where they contribute to pacemaker activities and are involved in the pathogenesis of epilepsy. Proper elucidation of their cellular functions has been hampered by the lack of selective pharmacology as well as the absence of generic endogenous regulations. We report here that both cloned (α1G, α1H and α1I subunits) and native T-channels are blocked by the endogenous cannabinoid, anandamide. Anandamide, known to exert its physiological effects through cannabinoid receptors, inhibits T-currents independently from the activation of CB1/CB2 receptors, G-proteins, phospholipases and protein kinase pathways. Anandamide appears to be the first endogenous ligand acting directly on T-channels at submicromolar concentrations. Block of anandamide membrane transport by AM404 prevents T-current inhibition, suggesting that anandamide acts intracellularly. Anandamide preferentially binds and stabilizes T-channels in the inactivated state and is responsible for a significant decrease of T-currents associated with neuronal firing activities. Our data demonstrate that anandamide inhibition of T-channels can regulate neuronal excitability and account for CB receptor-independent effects of this signaling molecule. PMID:11742980

  20. Effects of the endogeneous cannabinoid, anandamide, on neuronal activity in rat hippocampal slices.

    PubMed

    Ameri, A; Wilhelm, A; Simmet, T

    1999-04-01

    1. The arachidonic acid derivative arachidonylethanolamide (anandamide) is an endogeneous ligand of cannabinoid receptors that induces pharmacological actions similar to those of cannabinoids such as delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). We examined whether anandamide can influence excessive neuronal activity by investigating stimulation-induced population spikes and epileptiform activity in rat hippocampal slices. For this purpose, the effects of anandamide were compared with those of the synthetic cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 and its inactive S(-)-enantiomer WIN 55,212-3. 2. Both anandamide (1 and 10 microM) and WIN 55,212-2 (0.1 and 1 microM) decreased the amplitude of the postsynaptic population spike and the slope of the field excitatory postsynaptic potential (field e.p.s.p.) without affecting the presynaptic fibre spike of the afferents. At a concentration of 1 microM, WIN 55,212-2 completely suppressed the postsynaptic spike, whereas the S(-)-enantiomer WIN 55,212-3 produced only a slight depression. The CB1 receptor antagonist SR 141716 blocked the inhibition evoked by the cannabinoids. SR 141716 had a slight facilitatory effect on neuronal excitability by itself. 3. Anandamide shifted the input-output curve of the postsynaptic spike and the field e.p.s.p. to the right and increased the magnitude of paired-pulse facilitation indicating a presynaptic mechanism of action. 4. Anandamide and WIN 55,212-2, but not WIN 55,212-3, attenuated both stimulus-triggered epileptiform activity in CA1 elicited by omission of Mg2+ and spontaneously occurring epileptiform activity in CA3 elicited by omission of Mg2+ and elevation of K+ to 8 mM. The antiepileptiform effect of these cannabinoids was blocked by SR 141716. 5. In conclusion, cannabinoid receptors of the CB1 type as well as their endogeneous ligand, anandamide, are involved in the control of neuronal excitability, thus reducing excitatory neurotransmission at a presynaptic site, a mechanism which might be

  1. Effects of 2-arachidonylglycerol, an endogenous cannabinoid, on neuronal activity in rat hippocampal slices.

    PubMed

    Ameri, A; Simmet, T

    2000-03-01

    The monoacylglycerol 2-arachidonylglycerol is an endogenous ligand of cannabinoid receptors. We examined whether 2-arachidonylglycerol can influence excessive neuronal activity by investigating stimulation-induced population spikes and epileptiform activity in rat hippocampal slices. For this purpose, the effects of 2-arachidonylglycerol were compared with those of the synthetic cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2. At concentrations of 10-50 microM, 2-arachidonylglycerol attenuated the amplitude of the orthodromic population spike and the slope of the field excitatory postsynaptic potential (field EPSP). However, the effect of the synthetic cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 (R(+)-[2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-[(morpholinyl)methyl]pyrrolol[ 1,2,3-de]-1,4-benzoxazinyl]-(1-naphthalenyl)methanone; 0.1 microM and 1 microM) was significantly higher than that of the endogenous ligand. At a concentration of 1 microM, WIN 55,212-2 completely suppressed the field EPSP. However, none of the investigated compounds did affect the presynaptic fiber spike of the afferents. The CB1 receptor antagonist SR 141716 (N-piperidino-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorphenyl)-4-methyl-3- pyrazole-carboxamide) blocked the inhibition evoked by the cannabinoids. Both 2-arachidonylglycerol (30 microM) and WIN 55,212-2 (100 nM) shifted the input-output curve of the postsynaptic spike and the field EPSP to the right and increased the magnitude of paired-pulse facilitation, indicating a presynaptic mechanism of action. 2-Arachidonylglycerol and WIN 55,212-2 attenuated the frequency of spontaneously occurring epileptiform burst discharges in CA3 elicited by omission of Mg2+ and elevation of K+ to 8 mM. The antiepileptiform effect of these cannabinoids was blocked by SR 141716. In conclusion, 2-arachidonylglycerol seems to limit neuronal excitability via cannabinoid receptors of the CB1 type. By acting predominantly at a presynaptic site, it is capable of reducing excitatory neurotransmission, a mechanism which might

  2. Exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids control synaptic transmission in mice nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Robbe, David; Alonso, Gerard; Manzoni, Oliver J

    2003-11-01

    Addictive drugs are thought to alter normal brain function and cause the remodeling of synaptic functions in areas important to memory and reward. Excitatory transmission to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is involved in the actions of most drugs of abuse, including cannabis. We have explored the functions of the endocannabinoid system at the prefrontal cortex-NAc synapses. Immunocytochemistry showed cannabinoid receptor (CB1) expression on axonal terminals making contacts with NAc neurons. In NAc slices, synthetic cannabinoids inhibit spontaneous and evoked glutamate-mediated transmission through presynaptic activation of presynaptic K+ channels and GABA-mediated transmission most likely via a direct presynaptic action on the vesicular release machinery. How does synaptic activity lead to the production of endogenous cannabinoids (eCBs) in the NAc? More generally, do eCBs participate in long-term synaptic plasticity in the brain? We found that tetanic stimulation (mimicking naturally occurring frequencies) of prelimbic glutamatergic afferents induced a presynaptic LTD dependent on eCB and CB1 receptors (eCB-LTD). Induction of eCB-LTD required postsynaptic activation of mGlu5 receptors and a rise in postsynaptic Ca2+ from ryanodine-sensitive intracellular Ca2+ stores. This retrograde signaling cascade involved postsynaptic eCB release and activation of presynaptic CB1 receptors. In the NAc, eCB-LTD might be part of a negative feedback loop, reducing glutamatergic synaptic strength during sustained cortical activity. The fact that this new form of LTD was occluded by an exogenous cannabinoid suggested that cannabis derivatives, such as marijuana, may alter normal eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity. These data suggest a major role of the eCB system in long-term synaptic plasticity and give insights into how cannabis derivatives, such as marijuana, alter normal eCB functions in the brain reward system.

  3. Interaction between Cannabinoid System and Toll-Like Receptors Controls Inflammation

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Since the discovery of the endocannabinoid system consisting of cannabinoid receptors, endogenous ligands, and biosynthetic and metabolizing enzymes, interest has been renewed in investigating the promise of cannabinoids as therapeutic agents. Abundant evidence indicates that cannabinoids modulate immune responses. An inflammatory response is triggered when innate immune cells receive a danger signal provided by pathogen- or damage-associated molecular patterns engaging pattern-recognition receptors. Toll-like receptor family members are prominent pattern-recognition receptors expressed on innate immune cells. Cannabinoids suppress Toll-like receptor-mediated inflammatory responses. However, the relationship between the endocannabinoid system and innate immune system may not be one-sided. Innate immune cells express cannabinoid receptors and produce endogenous cannabinoids. Hence, innate immune cells may play a role in regulating endocannabinoid homeostasis, and, in turn, the endocannabinoid system modulates local inflammatory responses. Studies designed to probe the interaction between the innate immune system and the endocannabinoid system may identify new potential molecular targets in developing therapeutic strategies for chronic inflammatory diseases. This review discusses the endocannabinoid system and Toll-like receptor family and evaluates the interaction between them. PMID:27597805

  4. Ligands for cannabinoid receptors, promising anticancer agents.

    PubMed

    Nikan, Marjan; Nabavi, Seyed Mohammad; Manayi, Azadeh

    2016-02-01

    Cannabinoid compounds are unique to cannabis and provide some interesting biological properties. These compounds along with endocannabinoids, a group of neuromodulator compounds in the body especially in brain, express their effects by activation of G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. There are several physiological properties attributed to the endocannabinoids including pain relief, enhancement of appetite, blood pressure lowering during shock, embryonic development, and blocking of working memory. On the other hand, activation of endocannabinoid system may be suppresses evolution and progression of several types of cancer. According to the results of recent studies, CB receptors are over-expressed in cancer cell lines and application of multiple cannabinoid or cannabis-derived compounds reduce tumor size through decrease of cell proliferation or induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis along with desirable effect on decrease of tumor-evoked pain. Therefore, modulation of endocannabinoid system by inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the enzyme, which metabolized endocannabinoids, or application of multiple cannabinoid or cannabis-derived compounds, may be appropriate for the treatment of several cancer subtypes. This review focuses on how cannabinoid affect different types of cancers.

  5. Targeting the endocannabinoid system with cannabinoid receptor agonists: pharmacological strategies and therapeutic possibilities

    PubMed Central

    Pertwee, Roger G.

    2012-01-01

    Human tissues express cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors that can be activated by endogenously released ‘endocannabinoids’ or exogenously administered compounds in a manner that reduces the symptoms or opposes the underlying causes of several disorders in need of effective therapy. Three medicines that activate cannabinoid CB1/CB2 receptors are now in the clinic: Cesamet (nabilone), Marinol (dronabinol; Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)) and Sativex (Δ9-THC with cannabidiol). These can be prescribed for the amelioration of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (Cesamet and Marinol), stimulation of appetite (Marinol) and symptomatic relief of cancer pain and/or management of neuropathic pain and spasticity in adults with multiple sclerosis (Sativex). This review mentions several possible additional therapeutic targets for cannabinoid receptor agonists. These include other kinds of pain, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke, cancer, drug dependence, glaucoma, autoimmune uveitis, osteoporosis, sepsis, and hepatic, renal, intestinal and cardiovascular disorders. It also describes potential strategies for improving the efficacy and/or benefit-to-risk ratio of these agonists in the clinic. These are strategies that involve (i) targeting cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood-brain barrier, (ii) targeting cannabinoid receptors expressed by a particular tissue, (iii) targeting upregulated cannabinoid receptors, (iv) selectively targeting cannabinoid CB2 receptors, and/or (v) adjunctive ‘multi-targeting’. PMID:23108552

  6. Targeting the endocannabinoid system with cannabinoid receptor agonists: pharmacological strategies and therapeutic possibilities.

    PubMed

    Pertwee, Roger G

    2012-12-05

    Human tissues express cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) receptors that can be activated by endogenously released 'endocannabinoids' or exogenously administered compounds in a manner that reduces the symptoms or opposes the underlying causes of several disorders in need of effective therapy. Three medicines that activate cannabinoid CB(1)/CB(2) receptors are now in the clinic: Cesamet (nabilone), Marinol (dronabinol; Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC)) and Sativex (Δ(9)-THC with cannabidiol). These can be prescribed for the amelioration of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (Cesamet and Marinol), stimulation of appetite (Marinol) and symptomatic relief of cancer pain and/or management of neuropathic pain and spasticity in adults with multiple sclerosis (Sativex). This review mentions several possible additional therapeutic targets for cannabinoid receptor agonists. These include other kinds of pain, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke, cancer, drug dependence, glaucoma, autoimmune uveitis, osteoporosis, sepsis, and hepatic, renal, intestinal and cardiovascular disorders. It also describes potential strategies for improving the efficacy and/or benefit-to-risk ratio of these agonists in the clinic. These are strategies that involve (i) targeting cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood-brain barrier, (ii) targeting cannabinoid receptors expressed by a particular tissue, (iii) targeting upregulated cannabinoid receptors, (iv) selectively targeting cannabinoid CB(2) receptors, and/or (v) adjunctive 'multi-targeting'.

  7. Functional CB2 type cannabinoid receptors at CNS synapses.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Nicola H; Stanford, Ian M; Woodhall, Gavin L

    2009-09-01

    To date, it has been thought that cannabinoid receptors in CNS are primarily of the CB1R subtype, with CB2R expressed only in glia and peripheral tissues. However, evidence for the expression of CB2 type cannabinoid receptors at neuronal sites in the CNS is building through anatomical localization of receptors and mRNA in neurons and behavioural studies of central effects of CB2R agonists. In the medial entorhinal area of the rat, we found that blockade of CB1R did not occlude suppression of GABAergic inhibition by the non-specific endogenous cannabinoid 2-AG, suggesting that CB1R could not account fully for the effects of 2-AG. Suppression could be mimicked using the CB2R agonist JWH-133 and reversed by the CB2R inverse agonist AM-630, indicating the presence of functional CB2R. When we reversed the order of drug application AM-630 blocked the effects of the CB2R agonist JWH-133, but not the CB1R inverse agonist LY320135. JTE-907, a CB2R inverse agonist structurally unrelated to AM-630 elicited increased GABAergic neurotransmission at picomolar concentrations. Analysis of mIPSCs revealed that CB2R effects were restricted to action potential dependent, but not action potential independent GABA release. These data provide pharmacological evidence for functional CB2R at CNS synapses.

  8. Rimonabant, a selective cannabinoid1 receptor antagonist, protects against light-induced retinal degeneration in vitro and in vivo.

    PubMed

    Imamura, Tomoyo; Tsuruma, Kazuhiro; Inoue, Yuki; Otsuka, Tomohiro; Ohno, Yuta; Ogami, Shiho; Yamane, Shinsaku; Shimazawa, Masamitsu; Hara, Hideaki

    2017-03-16

    The endocannabinoid system is involved in some neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. An endogenous constellation of proteins related to cannabinoid1 receptor signaling, including free fatty acids, diacylglycerol lipase, and N-acylethanolamine-hydrolyzing acid amidase, are localized in the murine retina. Moreover, the expression levels of endogenous agonists of cannabinoid receptors are changed in the vitreous fluid. However, the role of the endocannabinoid system in the retina, particularly in the light-induced photoreceptor degeneration, remains unknown. Therefore, we investigated involvement of the cannabinoid1 receptor in light-induced retinal degeneration using in vitro and in vivo models. To evaluate the effect of cannabinoid1 receptors in light irradiation-induced cell death, the mouse retinal cone-cell line (661W) was treated with a cannabinoid1 receptor antagonist, rimonabant. Time-dependent changes of expression and localization of retinal cannabinoid1 receptors were measured using Western blot and immunostaining. Retinal damage was induced in mice by exposure to light, followed by intravitreal injection of rimonabant. Electroretinograms and histologic analyses were performed. Rimonabant suppressed light-induced photoreceptor cell death. Cannabinoid1 receptor expression was upregulated by light exposure. Treatment with rimonabant improved both a- and b-wave amplitudes and the thickness of the outer nuclear layer. These results suggest that the cannabinoid1 receptor is involved in light-induced retinal degeneration and it may represent a therapeutic target in the light-induced photoreceptor degeneration related diseases.

  9. Functional CB1 cannabinoid receptors in human vascular endothelial cells.

    PubMed Central

    Liu, J; Gao, B; Mirshahi, F; Sanyal, A J; Khanolkar, A D; Makriyannis, A; Kunos, G

    2000-01-01

    Cannabinoid CB1 receptor mRNA was detected using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in endothelial cells from human aorta and hepatic artery and in the ECV304 cell line derived from human umbilical vein endothelial cells. CB1 receptor-binding sites were detected by the high-affinity antagonist radioligand [(125)I]AM-251. In ECV304 cells, both the highly potent synthetic cannabinoid agonist HU-210 and the endogenous ligand anandamide induce activation of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase, and the effect of HU-210 was completely blocked, whereas the effect of anandamide was partially inhibited by SR141716A, a selective CB1 receptor antagonist. Transfection of ECV304 cells with CB1 receptor antisense, but not sense, oligonucleotides caused the same pattern of inhibition as SR141716A. This provides more definitive evidence for the involvement of CB1 receptors in MAP kinase activation and suggests that anandamide may also activate MAP kinase via an additional, CB1 receptor-independent, SR141716A-resistant mechanism. The MAP kinase activation by anandamide in ECV304 cells requires genistein-sensitive tyrosine kinases and protein kinase C (PKC), and anandamide also activates p38 kinase and c-Jun kinase. These findings indicate that CB1 receptors located in human vascular endothelium are functionally coupled to the MAP kinase cascade. Activation of protein kinase cascades by anandamide may be involved in the modulation of endothelial cell growth and proliferation. PMID:10698714

  10. The endogenous cannabinoid system affects energy balance via central orexigenic drive and peripheral lipogenesis.

    PubMed

    Cota, Daniela; Marsicano, Giovanni; Tschöp, Matthias; Grübler, Yvonne; Flachskamm, Cornelia; Schubert, Mirjam; Auer, Dorothee; Yassouridis, Alexander; Thöne-Reineke, Christa; Ortmann, Sylvia; Tomassoni, Federica; Cervino, Cristina; Nisoli, Enzo; Linthorst, Astrid C E; Pasquali, Renato; Lutz, Beat; Stalla, Günter K; Pagotto, Uberto

    2003-08-01

    The cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and its endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids, are involved in the regulation of food intake. Here we show that the lack of CB1 in mice with a disrupted CB1 gene causes hypophagia and leanness. As compared with WT (CB1+/+) littermates, mice lacking CB1 (CB1-/-) exhibited reduced spontaneous caloric intake and, as a consequence of reduced total fat mass, decreased body weight. In young CB1-/- mice, the lean phenotype is predominantly caused by decreased caloric intake, whereas in adult CB1-/- mice, metabolic factors appear to contribute to the lean phenotype. No significant differences between genotypes were detected regarding locomotor activity, body temperature, or energy expenditure. Hypothalamic CB1 mRNA was found to be coexpressed with neuropeptides known to modulate food intake, such as corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), cocaine-amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART), melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), and preproorexin, indicating a possible role for endocannabinoid receptors within central networks governing appetite. CB1-/- mice showed significantly increased CRH mRNA levels in the paraventricular nucleus and reduced CART mRNA levels in the dorsomedial and lateral hypothalamic areas. CB1 was also detected in epidydimal mouse adipocytes, and CB1-specific activation enhanced lipogenesis in primary adipocyte cultures. Our results indicate that the cannabinoid system is an essential endogenous regulator of energy homeostasis via central orexigenic as well as peripheral lipogenic mechanisms and might therefore represent a promising target to treat diseases characterized by impaired energy balance.

  11. Functional interactions between endogenous cannabinoid and opioid systems: focus on alcohol, genetics and drug-addicted behaviors.

    PubMed

    López-Moreno, J A; López-Jiménez, A; Gorriti, M A; de Fonseca, F Rodríguez

    2010-04-01

    Although the first studies regarding the endogenous opioid system and addiction were published during the 1940s, addiction and cannabinoids were not addressed until the 1970s. Currently, the number of opioid addiction studies indexed in PubMed-Medline is 16 times greater than the number of cannabinoid addiction reports. More recently, functional interactions have been demonstrated between the endogenous cannabinoid and opioid systems. For example, the cannabinoid brain receptor type 1 (CB1) and mu opioid receptor type 1 (MOR1) co-localize in the same presynaptic nerve terminals and signal through a common receptor-mediated G-protein pathway. Here, we review a great variety of behavioral models of drug addiction and alcohol-related behaviors. We also include data providing clear evidence that activation of the cannabinoid and opioid endogenous systems via WIN 55,512-2 (0.4-10 mg/kg) and morphine (1.0-10 mg/kg), respectively, produces similar levels of relapse to alcohol in operant alcohol self-administration tasks. Finally, we discuss genetic studies that reveal significant associations between polymorphisms in MOR1 and CB1 receptors and drug addiction. For example, the SNP A118G, which changes the amino acid aspartate to asparagine in the MOR1 gene, is highly associated with altered opioid system function. The presence of a microsatellite polymorphism of an (AAT)n triplet near the CB1 gene is associated with drug addiction phenotypes. But, studies exploring haplotypes with regard to both systems, however, are lacking.

  12. Multiple Sleep Alterations in Mice Lacking Cannabinoid Type 1 Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Bastianini, Stefano; Lo Martire, Viviana; Mazza, Roberta; Pagotto, Uberto; Quarta, Carmelo; Zoccoli, Giovanna

    2014-01-01

    Cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors are highly expressed in the brain and play a role in behavior control. Endogenous cannabinoid signaling is modulated by high-fat diet (HFD). We investigated the consequences of congenital lack of CB1 receptors on sleep in mice fed standard diet (SD) and HFD. CB1 cannabinoid receptor knock-out (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice were fed SD or HFD for 4 months (n = 9–10 per group). Mice were instrumented with electroencephalographic (EEG) and electromyographic electrodes. Recordings were performed during baseline (48 hours), sleep deprivation (gentle handling, 6 hours), sleep recovery (18 hours), and after cage switch (insomnia model paradigm, 6 hours). We found multiple significant effects of genotype on sleep. In particular, KO spent more time awake and less time in non-rapid-eye-movement sleep (NREMS) and rapid-eye-movement sleep (REMS) than WT during the dark (active) period but not during the light (rest) period, enhancing the day-night variation of wake-sleep amounts. KO had slower EEG theta rhythm during REMS. REMS homeostasis after sleep deprivation was less effective in KO than in WT. Finally, KO habituated more rapidly to the arousing effect of the cage-switch test than WT. We did not find any significant effects of diet or of diet x genotype interaction on sleep. The occurrence of multiple sleep alterations in KO indicates important roles of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in limiting arousal during the active period of the day, in sleep regulation, and in sleep EEG in mice. PMID:24586776

  13. Multiple sleep alterations in mice lacking cannabinoid type 1 receptors.

    PubMed

    Silvani, Alessandro; Berteotti, Chiara; Bastianini, Stefano; Lo Martire, Viviana; Mazza, Roberta; Pagotto, Uberto; Quarta, Carmelo; Zoccoli, Giovanna

    2014-01-01

    Cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors are highly expressed in the brain and play a role in behavior control. Endogenous cannabinoid signaling is modulated by high-fat diet (HFD). We investigated the consequences of congenital lack of CB1 receptors on sleep in mice fed standard diet (SD) and HFD. CB1 cannabinoid receptor knock-out (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice were fed SD or HFD for 4 months (n = 9-10 per group). Mice were instrumented with electroencephalographic (EEG) and electromyographic electrodes. Recordings were performed during baseline (48 hours), sleep deprivation (gentle handling, 6 hours), sleep recovery (18 hours), and after cage switch (insomnia model paradigm, 6 hours). We found multiple significant effects of genotype on sleep. In particular, KO spent more time awake and less time in non-rapid-eye-movement sleep (NREMS) and rapid-eye-movement sleep (REMS) than WT during the dark (active) period but not during the light (rest) period, enhancing the day-night variation of wake-sleep amounts. KO had slower EEG theta rhythm during REMS. REMS homeostasis after sleep deprivation was less effective in KO than in WT. Finally, KO habituated more rapidly to the arousing effect of the cage-switch test than WT. We did not find any significant effects of diet or of diet x genotype interaction on sleep. The occurrence of multiple sleep alterations in KO indicates important roles of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in limiting arousal during the active period of the day, in sleep regulation, and in sleep EEG in mice.

  14. Sphingosine lysolipids in the CNS: endogenous cannabinoid antagonists or a parallel pain modulatory system?

    PubMed

    Selley, Dana E; Welch, Sandra P; Sim-Selley, Laura J

    2013-08-14

    A significant number of patients experience chronic pain and the intractable side effects of currently prescribed pain medications. Recent evidence indicates important pain-modulatory roles for two classes of G-protein-coupled receptors that are activated by endogenous lipid ligands, the endocannabinoid (eCB) and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptors, which are widely expressed in both the immune and nervous systems. In the central nervous system (CNS), CB1 cannabinoid and S1P1 receptors are most abundantly expressed and exhibit overlapping anatomical distributions and similar signaling mechanisms. The eCB system has emerged as a potential target for treatment of chronic pain, but comparatively little is known about the roles of S1P in pain regulation. Both eCB and S1P systems modulate pain perception via the central and peripheral nervous systems. In most paradigms studied, the eCB system mainly inhibits pain perception. In contrast, S1P acting peripherally at S1P1 and S1P3 receptors can enhance sensitivity to various pain stimuli or elicit spontaneous pain. However, S1P acting at S1P1 receptors and possibly other targets in the CNS can attenuate sensitivity to various pain stimuli. Interestingly, other endogenous sphingolipid derivatives might play a role in central pain sensitization. Moreover, these sphingolipids can also act as CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonists, but the physiological relevance of this interaction is unknown. Overall, both eCB and sphingolipid systems offer promising targets for the treatment of chronic pain. This review compares and contrasts the eCB and S1P systems with a focus on their roles in pain modulation, and considers possible points of interaction between these systems. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Opioid, cannabinoid, and transient receptor potential (TRP) systems: effects on body temperature

    PubMed Central

    Rawls, Scott M.; Benamar, Khalid

    2014-01-01

    Cannabinoid and opioid drugs produce marked changes in body temperature. Recent findings have extended our knowledge about the thermoregulatory effects of cannabinoids and opioids, particularly as related to delta opioid receptors, endogenous systems, and transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. Although delta opioid receptors were originally thought to play only a minor role in thermoregulation compared to mu and kappa opioid receptors, their activation has been shown to produce hypothermia in multiple species. Endogenous opioids and cannabinoids also regulate body temperature. Mu and kappa opioid receptors are thought to be in tonic balance, with mu and kappa receptor activation producing hyperthermia and hypothermia, respectively. Endocannabinoids participate in the febrile response, but more studies are needed to determine if a cannabinoid CB1 receptor tone exerts control over basal body temperature. A particularly intense research focus is TRP channels, where TRPV1 channel activation produces hypothermia whereas TRPA1 and TRPM8 channel activation causes hyperthermia. The marked hyperthermia produced by TRPV1 channel antagonists suggests these warm channels tonically control body temperature. A better understanding of the roles of cannabinoid, opioid, and TRP systems in thermoregulation may have broad clinical implications and provide insights into interactions among neurotransmitter systems involved in thermoregulation. PMID:21622235

  16. Pharmacological and molecular characterization of a dorsal root ganglion cell line expressing cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) receptors.

    PubMed

    Fan, Yihong; Hooker, Bradley A; Garrison, Tiffany Runyan; El-Kouhen, Odile F; Idler, Kenneth B; Holley-Shanks, Rhonda R; Meyer, Michael D; Yao, Betty Bei

    2011-06-01

    The behavioral effects evoked by cannabinoids are primarily mediated by the CB(1) and CB(2) cannabinoid receptor subtypes. In vitro pharmacology of cannabinoid receptors has been elucidated using recombinant expression systems expressing either CB(1) or CB(2) receptors, with limited characterization in native cell lines endogenously expressing both CB(1) and CB(2) receptors. In the current study, we report the molecular and pharmacological characterization of the F-11 cell line, a hybridoma of rat dorsal root ganglion neurons and mouse neuroblastoma (N18TG2) cells, reported to endogenously express both cannabinoid receptors. The present study revealed that both receptors are of mouse origin in F-11 cells, and describes the relative gene expression levels between the two receptors. Pharmacological characterization of the F-11 cell line using cannabinoid agonists and antagonists indicated that the functional responses to these cannabinoid ligands are mainly mediated by CB(1) receptors. The non-selective cannabinoid ligands CP 55,940 and WIN 55212-2 are potent agonists and their efficacies in adenylate cyclase and MAPK assays are inhibited by the CB(1) selective antagonist SR141716A (SR1), but not by the CB(2) selective antagonist SR144528 (SR2). The endocannabinoid ligand 2AG, although not active in adenylate cyclase assays, was a potent activator of MAPK signaling in F-11 cells. The analysis of CB(1) and CB(2) receptor gene expression and the characterization of cannabinoid receptor pharmacology in the F-11 cell line demonstrate that it can be used as a tool for interrogating the endogenous signal transduction of cannabinoid receptor subtypes.

  17. Targeted modulators of the endogenous cannabinoid system: future medications to treat addiction disorders and obesity.

    PubMed

    Janero, David R; Makriyannis, Alexandros

    2007-10-01

    The endogenous endocannabinoid system encompasses a family of natural signaling lipids ("endocannabinoids") functionally related to (9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana (cannabis), along with proteins that modulate the endocannabinoids, including enzymes, transporters, and receptors. The endocannabinoid system's ubiquitous regulatory actions in health and disease underscore its importance to mammalian (patho)physiology and suggest discrete targets through which it may be modulated for therapeutic gain. Medications based on the endocannabinoid system are an important focus of contemporary translational research, particularly with respect to substance abuse and obesity, two prevalent disorders with a pathogenic component of endocannabinoid system hyperactivity. Pressing health care needs have made the rational design of targeted CB1 cannabinoid-receptor modulators a promising route to future medications with significant therapeutic impact against psychobehavioral and metabolic disturbances having a reward-supported appetitive component.

  18. A runner’s high depends on cannabinoid receptors in mice

    PubMed Central

    Fuss, Johannes; Steinle, Jörg; Bindila, Laura; Auer, Matthias K.; Kirchherr, Hartmut; Lutz, Beat; Gass, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Exercise is rewarding, and long-distance runners have described a runner’s high as a sudden pleasant feeling of euphoria, anxiolysis, sedation, and analgesia. A popular belief has been that endogenous endorphins mediate these beneficial effects. However, running exercise increases blood levels of both β-endorphin (an opioid) and anandamide (an endocannabinoid). Using a combination of pharmacologic, molecular genetic, and behavioral studies in mice, we demonstrate that cannabinoid receptors mediate acute anxiolysis and analgesia after running. We show that anxiolysis depends on intact cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) receptors on forebrain GABAergic neurons and pain reduction on activation of peripheral CB1 and CB2 receptors. We thus demonstrate that the endocannabinoid system is crucial for two main aspects of a runner's high. Sedation, in contrast, was not influenced by cannabinoid or opioid receptor blockage, and euphoria cannot be studied in mouse models. PMID:26438875

  19. Effects of cannabinoids and their receptors on viral infections.

    PubMed

    Tahamtan, Alireza; Tavakoli-Yaraki, Masoumeh; Rygiel, Tomasz P; Mokhtari-Azad, Talat; Salimi, Vahid

    2016-01-01

    Cannabinoids, the active ingredient in marijuana, and their derivatives have received remarkable attention in the last two decades because they can affect tumor growth and metastasis. There is a large body of evidence from in vivo and in vitro models showing that cannabinoids and their receptors influence the immune system, viral pathogenesis, and viral replication. The present study reviews current insights into the role of cannabinoids and their receptors on viral infections. The results reported here indicate that cannabinoids and their receptors have different sequels for viral infection. Although activation or inhibition of cannabinoid receptors in the majority of viral infections are proper targets for development of safe and effective treatments, caution is required before using pharmaceutical cannabinoids as a treatment agent for patients with viral infections.

  20. 3'-functionalized adamantyl cannabinoid receptor probes.

    PubMed

    Ogawa, Go; Tius, Marcus A; Zhou, Han; Nikas, Spyros P; Halikhedkar, Aneetha; Mallipeddi, Srikrishnan; Makriyannis, Alexandros

    2015-04-09

    The aliphatic side chain plays a pivotal role in determining the cannabinergic potency of tricyclic classical cannabinoids, and we have previously shown that this chain could be substituted successfully by adamantyl or other polycyclic groups. In an effort to explore the pharmacophoric features of these conformationally fixed groups, we have synthesized a series of analogues in which the C3 position is substituted directly with an adamantyl group bearing functionality at one of the tertiary carbon atoms. These substituents included the electrophilic isothiocyanate and photoactivatable azido groups, both of which are capable of covalent attachment with the target protein. Our results show that substitution at the 3'-adamantyl position can lead to ligands with improved affinities and CB1/CB2 selectivities. Our work has also led to the development of two successful covalent probes with high affinities for both cannabinoid receptors, namely, the electrophilic isothiocyanate AM994 and the photoactivatable aliphatic azido AM993 analogues.

  1. Coevolution between cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoid ligands.

    PubMed

    McPartland, John M; Norris, Ryan W; Kilpatrick, C William

    2007-08-01

    Genes for receptors and ligands must coevolve to maintain coordinated gene expression and binding affinities. Researchers have debated whether anandamide or 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG) is a more "intrinsic" ligand of cannabinoid receptors. We addressed this debate with a coevolutionary analysis, by examining genes for CB1, CB2, and ten genes that encode ligand metabolic enzymes: abhydrolase domain containing 4 protein, cyclooxygenase 2, diacylglycerol lipase paralogs (DAGLalpha, DAGLbeta), fatty acid amide hydrolase paralogs (FAAH1, FAAH2), monoglyceride lipase, N-acylethanolamine acid amidase, NAPE-selective phospholipase D, and protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 22. Gene trees (cladograms) of CB1, CB2, and ligand enzymes were obtained by searching for orthologs (tBLASTn) in the genomes of nine phylogenetically diverse species, aligning ortholog sequences with ClustalX, and applying Bayesian analysis (MrBayes). Mirrored cladograms provided evidence of coevolution (i.e., parallel cladogenesis). Next we constructed phylograms of CB1, CB2, and the ten enzymes. Phylogram branch lengths were proportional to three sets of maximum likelihood metrics: all-nucleotide-substitutions and NS/SS ratios (using PAUP()), and Ka/Ks ratios (using FUGE). Spurious correlations in all-nucleotide-substitutions trees (due to phylogenetic bias) and in Ka/Ks ratio trees (due to simplistic modeling) were parsed. Branch lengths from equivalent branches in paired trees were correlated by linear regression. Regression analyses, mirrored cladograms, and phylogenetic profiles produced the same results: close associations between cannabinoid receptors and DAGL enzymes. Therefore we propose that cannabinoid receptors initially coevolved with a fatty acid ester ligand (akin to 2-AG) in ancestral metazoans, and affinity for fatty acid ethanolamide ligands (e.g., AEA) evolved thereafter.

  2. Cannabinoid Modulation of Memory Consolidation in Rats: Beyond the Role of Cannabinoid Receptor Subtype 1.

    PubMed

    Ratano, Patrizia; Palmery, Maura; Trezza, Viviana; Campolongo, Patrizia

    2017-01-01

    The effects induced by exogenous manipulation of endocannabinoid neurotransmission on emotion and memory are often contradictory. Among the different factors involved, of particular interest is the binding affinity of endocannabinoids, and their analogs, for other receptor families beyond cannabinoid receptors, such as the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), and the transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1). The aim of this study was to investigate which receptor subtype mediates cannabinoid effects on memory consolidation for emotionally arousing experiences. We tested two cannabinoid compounds with different pharmacological properties in the inhibitory avoidance task, and evaluated whether the observed effects are mediated by cannabinoid, PPARα or TRPV1 receptor activation. We found that the synthetic cannabinoid agonist WIN55,212-2 and the FAAH inhibitor URB597 both enhanced memory consolidation for inhibitory avoidance training. WIN55,212-22 effects on memory consolidation were predominantly mediated by CB1 receptor activation but CB2 receptors were involved as well. The URB597-induced memory enhancement was dependent on the activation not only of CB1 and CB2 receptors but, notwithstanding, PPAR-α and TRPV1 receptors were involved as well. Our findings drive beyond the classical hypothesis centered on the unique role of CB1 receptor activation for cannabinoid effects on memory, and reveal new insights in the neural mechanisms of memory consolidation.

  3. Cannabinoid Modulation of Memory Consolidation in Rats: Beyond the Role of Cannabinoid Receptor Subtype 1

    PubMed Central

    Ratano, Patrizia; Palmery, Maura; Trezza, Viviana; Campolongo, Patrizia

    2017-01-01

    The effects induced by exogenous manipulation of endocannabinoid neurotransmission on emotion and memory are often contradictory. Among the different factors involved, of particular interest is the binding affinity of endocannabinoids, and their analogs, for other receptor families beyond cannabinoid receptors, such as the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), and the transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1). The aim of this study was to investigate which receptor subtype mediates cannabinoid effects on memory consolidation for emotionally arousing experiences. We tested two cannabinoid compounds with different pharmacological properties in the inhibitory avoidance task, and evaluated whether the observed effects are mediated by cannabinoid, PPARα or TRPV1 receptor activation. We found that the synthetic cannabinoid agonist WIN55,212-2 and the FAAH inhibitor URB597 both enhanced memory consolidation for inhibitory avoidance training. WIN55,212-22 effects on memory consolidation were predominantly mediated by CB1 receptor activation but CB2 receptors were involved as well. The URB597-induced memory enhancement was dependent on the activation not only of CB1 and CB2 receptors but, notwithstanding, PPAR-α and TRPV1 receptors were involved as well. Our findings drive beyond the classical hypothesis centered on the unique role of CB1 receptor activation for cannabinoid effects on memory, and reveal new insights in the neural mechanisms of memory consolidation. PMID:28446875

  4. Endocannabinoid Binding to the Cannabinoid Receptors: What Is Known and What Remains Unknown

    PubMed Central

    Reggio, Patricia H.

    2014-01-01

    The cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors are Class A G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). While many Class A GPCRs have endogenous ligands that are hydrophilic cations (e.g., the serotonin and dopamine receptors), the cannabinoid receptors have neutral, highly lipophilic ligands derived from the fatty acid, arachidonic acid. The most well-studied of these are N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide, AEA) and sn-2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). This review focuses on the experimental and computational studies that have been used to probe the nature of endocannabinoid interaction with the cannabinoid receptors. These studies include mutation, SAR and NMR studies, as well as, QSAR, docking and molecular dynamics simulations. Gaps in our knowledge are identified. The review begins more generally, however, by discussing the entire endocannabinoid system, of which the cannabinoid receptors are part. For in order to understand endocannabinoid action, one needs an appreciation for the environments for which these ligands have been designed and the conformational changes these ligands must undergo in order to act on the cannabinoid receptors. PMID:20166921

  5. Lasting impacts of prenatal cannabis exposure and the role of endogenous cannabinoids in the developing brain

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Chia-Shan; Jew, Christopher P; Lu, Hui-Chen

    2011-01-01

    Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit substance among pregnant women. Human epidemiological and animal studies have found that prenatal cannabis exposure influences brain development and can have long-lasting impacts on cognitive functions. Exploration of the therapeutic potential of cannabis-based medicines and synthetic cannabinoid compounds has given us much insight into the physiological roles of endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids) and their receptors. In this article, we examine human longitudinal cohort studies that document the long-term influence of prenatal exposure to cannabis, followed by an overview of the molecular composition of the endocannabinoid system and the temporal and spatial changes in their expression during brain development. How endocannabinoid signaling modulates fundamental developmental processes such as cell proliferation, neurogenesis, migration and axonal pathfinding are also summarized. PMID:22229018

  6. The discovery of a cannabinoid receptor

    SciTech Connect

    Devane, W.A.

    1989-01-01

    A tritiated form of CP-55,940, a Pfizer cannabinoid analog that is 20- to 100-fold more potent than {Delta}{sup 9}-tetrahydrocannabinol in various in vivo and in vitro models of cannabimimetric activity, was used as the tool with which to probe for a cannabinoid receptor in rat cortical membranes. The bound and free ligand were successfully separated using a centrifugation assay. Specific binding was saturable, rapidly attained, and completely reversible. The K{sub D}'s derived from kinetic analysis of binding agreed well with the K{sub D}'s derived from saturation and displacement analysis. The ({sup 3}H)CP-55,940 binding site exhibited high affinity with a K{sub D} of 68 pM as determined by LIGAND analysis of homologous displacement studies. The ability of other cannabinoid drugs to displace ({sup 3}H)CP-55,940 binding correlated well with the potency of these drugs in in vivo and in vitro models of cannabimimetic activity. The K{sub i} of {Delta}{sup 9}-THC was 1.6 nM. Cannabidiol and cannabigerol, which both lack psychoactivity in man, displaced specific binding by less than 50% at 1 {mu}M.

  7. The endogenous cannabinoid system affects energy balance via central orexigenic drive and peripheral lipogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Cota, Daniela; Marsicano, Giovanni; Tschöp, Matthias; Grübler, Yvonne; Flachskamm, Cornelia; Schubert, Mirjam; Auer, Dorothee; Yassouridis, Alexander; Thöne-Reineke, Christa; Ortmann, Sylvia; Tomassoni, Federica; Cervino, Cristina; Nisoli, Enzo; Linthorst, Astrid C.E.; Pasquali, Renato; Lutz, Beat; Stalla, Günter K.; Pagotto, Uberto

    2003-01-01

    The cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and its endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids, are involved in the regulation of food intake. Here we show that the lack of CB1 in mice with a disrupted CB1 gene causes hypophagia and leanness. As compared with WT (CB1+/+) littermates, mice lacking CB1 (CB1–/–) exhibited reduced spontaneous caloric intake and, as a consequence of reduced total fat mass, decreased body weight. In young CB1–/– mice, the lean phenotype is predominantly caused by decreased caloric intake, whereas in adult CB1–/– mice, metabolic factors appear to contribute to the lean phenotype. No significant differences between genotypes were detected regarding locomotor activity, body temperature, or energy expenditure. Hypothalamic CB1 mRNA was found to be coexpressed with neuropeptides known to modulate food intake, such as corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), cocaine-amphetamine–regulated transcript (CART), melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), and prepro-orexin, indicating a possible role for endocannabinoid receptors within central networks governing appetite. CB1–/– mice showed significantly increased CRH mRNA levels in the paraventricular nucleus and reduced CART mRNA levels in the dorsomedial and lateral hypothalamic areas. CB1 was also detected in epidydimal mouse adipocytes, and CB1-specific activation enhanced lipogenesis in primary adipocyte cultures. Our results indicate that the cannabinoid system is an essential endogenous regulator of energy homeostasis via central orexigenic as well as peripheral lipogenic mechanisms and might therefore represent a promising target to treat diseases characterized by impaired energy balance. PMID:12897210

  8. CB2 Cannabinoid Receptor As Potential Target against Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Aso, Ester; Ferrer, Isidro

    2016-01-01

    The CB2 receptor is one of the components of the endogenous cannabinoid system, a complex network of signaling molecules and receptors involved in the homeostatic control of several physiological functions. Accumulated evidence suggests a role for CB2 receptors in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and indicates their potential as a therapeutic target against this neurodegenerative disease. Levels of CB2 receptors are significantly increased in post-mortem AD brains, mainly in microglia surrounding senile plaques, and their expression levels correlate with the amounts of Aβ42 and β-amyloid plaque deposition. Moreover, several studies on animal models of AD have demonstrated that specific CB2 receptor agonists, which are devoid of psychoactive effects, reduce AD-like pathology, resulting in attenuation of the inflammation associated with the disease but also modulating Aβ and tau aberrant processing, among other effects. CB2 receptor activation also improves cognitive impairment in animal models of AD. This review discusses available data regarding the role of CB2 receptors in AD and the potential usefulness of specific agonists of these receptors against AD. PMID:27303261

  9. Physiological and behavioural effects of the endogenous cannabinoid, arachidonylethanolamide (anandamide), in the rat.

    PubMed Central

    Stein, E. A.; Fuller, S. A.; Edgemond, W. S.; Campbell, W. B.

    1996-01-01

    1. Arachidonylethanolamide (AEA; anandamide) has been isolated from mammalian brain and found to bind to, and is thought to be, an endogenous ligand for the cannabinoid receptor. In order to understand better its behavioural and physiological properties, we have examined its acute effects in unanaesthetized freely behaving rats. 2. Intravenous AEA caused dose-related decreases in locomotor behaviour, a pronounced hyperreflexia, and a moderate antinociceptive state. At doses between 3 and 30 mg kg-1, a dose-dependent hypothermia and profound, time-dependent cardiovascular changes were also observed. 3. An immediate bradycardia exceeding 50% was seen within 10-15 s of administration and lasted up to 11 min following the highest dose of the drug. In contrast, the change in mean arterial pressure was biphasic: an immediate 20% decrease in mean arterial pressure followed by a significant increase in blood pressure that lasted about 13 min after the highest dose. 4. These data demonstrate that AEA in the unanaesthetized rat exerts behavioural and physiological effects generally similar to those seen following natural cannabinoids and synthetic cannabimimetic agents and suggests a role for AEA in regulation of various physiological processes. Images Figure 2 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 7 PMID:8872363

  10. Voluntary Exercise and Sucrose Consumption Enhance Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor Sensitivity in the Striatum

    PubMed Central

    De Chiara, Valentina; Errico, Francesco; Musella, Alessandra; Rossi, Silvia; Mataluni, Giorgia; Sacchetti, Lucia; Siracusano, Alberto; Castelli, Maura; Cavasinni, Francesca; Bernardi, Giorgio; Usiello, Alessandro; Centonze, Diego

    2010-01-01

    The endogenous cannabinoid system is involved in the regulation of the central reward pathway. Running wheel and sucrose consumption have rewarding and reinforcing properties in rodents, and share many neurochemical and behavioral characteristics with drug addiction. In this study, we investigated whether running wheel or sucrose consumption altered the sensitivity of striatal synapses to the activation of cannabinoid CB1 receptors. We found that cannabinoid CB1 receptor-mediated presynaptic control of striatal inhibitory postsynaptic currents was remarkably potentiated after these environmental manipulations. In contrast, the sensitivity of glutamate synapses to CB1 receptor stimulation was unaltered, as well as that of GABA synapses to the stimulation of presynaptic GABAB receptors. The sensitization of cannabinoid CB1 receptor-mediated responses was slowly reversible after the discontinuation of running wheel or sucrose consumption, and was also detectable following the mobilization of endocannabinoids by metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 stimulation. Finally, we found that the upregulation of cannabinoid transmission induced by wheel running or sucrose had a crucial role in the protective effects of these environmental manipulations against the motor and synaptic consequences of stress. PMID:19776732

  11. [Drug discrimination properties and cytotoxicity of the cannabinoid receptor ligands].

    PubMed

    Tomiyama, Ken-ichi; Funada, Masahiko

    2012-06-01

    The worldwide distribution of smokable herbal mixtures called "Spice" that contain synthetic cannabinoids with a pharmacological activity similar to delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 9-THC) has been reported. The synthetic cannabinoids induce behavior and have biochemical properties similar to naturally occurring cannabinoids such as delta 9-THC. In drug discrimination procedures, animal behavior is differentially reinforced depending on the presence or absence of specific drug stimuli. This review seeks to establish an animal model to serve as a discriminative stimulus of the synthetic cannabinoids, to determine whether this discriminative stimulus is identical to that of delta 9-THC. Much data have been obtained in drug discrimination experiments with various synthetic cannabinoids. In the discriminative study, synthetic cannabinoids such as CP-55,940 and WIN-55,212-2 were substituted for delta 9-THC in rats trained to discriminate delta 9-THC from the vehicle. These discriminative effects of synthetic cannabinoids were antagonized by CB1 antagonist SR-141,716A. The discriminative effects of synthetic cannabinoids may overlap with the delta 9-THC cue mediated by CB1 receptors. In in vitro study using NG 108-15 cell lines, synthetic cannabinoids have produced strong cytotoxicities that were suppressed by pretreatment with the CB1 receptor antagonist. Furthermore, pretreatment with caspase inhibitors suppressed these synthetic-cannabinoid-induced cytotoxicities in NG 108-15 cells. These findings indicate that the cytotoxicity of synthetic cannabinoids towards NG 108-15 cells is mediated by the CB1 receptors and further suggest that caspase cascades may play an important role in the cytotoxicities induced by these synthetic cannabinoids. In conclusion, synthetic cannabinoid abuse could be a health hazard for humans.

  12. International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology. LXXIX. Cannabinoid Receptors and Their Ligands: Beyond CB1 and CB2

    PubMed Central

    Howlett, A. C.; Abood, M. E.; Alexander, S. P. H.; Di Marzo, V.; Elphick, M. R.; Greasley, P. J.; Hansen, H. S.; Kunos, G.; Mackie, K.; Mechoulam, R.; Ross, R. A.

    2010-01-01

    There are at least two types of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). Ligands activating these G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) include the phytocannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, numerous synthetic compounds, and endogenous compounds known as endocannabinoids. Cannabinoid receptor antagonists have also been developed. Some of these ligands activate or block one type of cannabinoid receptor more potently than the other type. This review summarizes current data indicating the extent to which cannabinoid receptor ligands undergo orthosteric or allosteric interactions with non-CB1, non-CB2 established GPCRs, deorphanized receptors such as GPR55, ligand-gated ion channels, transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, and other ion channels or peroxisome proliferator-activated nuclear receptors. From these data, it is clear that some ligands that interact similarly with CB1 and/or CB2 receptors are likely to display significantly different pharmacological profiles. The review also lists some criteria that any novel “CB3” cannabinoid receptor or channel should fulfil and concludes that these criteria are not currently met by any non-CB1, non-CB2 pharmacological receptor or channel. However, it does identify certain pharmacological targets that should be investigated further as potential CB3 receptors or channels. These include TRP vanilloid 1, which possibly functions as an ionotropic cannabinoid receptor under physiological and/or pathological conditions, and some deorphanized GPCRs. Also discussed are 1) the ability of CB1 receptors to form heteromeric complexes with certain other GPCRs, 2) phylogenetic relationships that exist between CB1/CB2 receptors and other GPCRs, 3) evidence for the existence of several as-yet-uncharacterized non-CB1, non-CB2 cannabinoid receptors; and 4) current cannabinoid receptor nomenclature. PMID:21079038

  13. International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology. LXXIX. Cannabinoid receptors and their ligands: beyond CB₁ and CB₂.

    PubMed

    Pertwee, R G; Howlett, A C; Abood, M E; Alexander, S P H; Di Marzo, V; Elphick, M R; Greasley, P J; Hansen, H S; Kunos, G; Mackie, K; Mechoulam, R; Ross, R A

    2010-12-01

    There are at least two types of cannabinoid receptors (CB(1) and CB(2)). Ligands activating these G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) include the phytocannabinoid Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, numerous synthetic compounds, and endogenous compounds known as endocannabinoids. Cannabinoid receptor antagonists have also been developed. Some of these ligands activate or block one type of cannabinoid receptor more potently than the other type. This review summarizes current data indicating the extent to which cannabinoid receptor ligands undergo orthosteric or allosteric interactions with non-CB(1), non-CB(2) established GPCRs, deorphanized receptors such as GPR55, ligand-gated ion channels, transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, and other ion channels or peroxisome proliferator-activated nuclear receptors. From these data, it is clear that some ligands that interact similarly with CB(1) and/or CB(2) receptors are likely to display significantly different pharmacological profiles. The review also lists some criteria that any novel "CB(3)" cannabinoid receptor or channel should fulfil and concludes that these criteria are not currently met by any non-CB(1), non-CB(2) pharmacological receptor or channel. However, it does identify certain pharmacological targets that should be investigated further as potential CB(3) receptors or channels. These include TRP vanilloid 1, which possibly functions as an ionotropic cannabinoid receptor under physiological and/or pathological conditions, and some deorphanized GPCRs. Also discussed are 1) the ability of CB(1) receptors to form heteromeric complexes with certain other GPCRs, 2) phylogenetic relationships that exist between CB(1)/CB(2) receptors and other GPCRs, 3) evidence for the existence of several as-yet-uncharacterized non-CB(1), non-CB(2) cannabinoid receptors; and 4) current cannabinoid receptor nomenclature.

  14. Changes in the cannabinoid (CB1) receptor expression level and G-protein activation in kainic acid induced seizures.

    PubMed

    Bojnik, Engin; Turunç, Ezgi; Armağan, Güliz; Kanıt, Lütfiye; Benyhe, Sándor; Yalçın, Ayfer; Borsodi, Anna

    2012-03-01

    It has been known for centuries that exogenous cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol have anticonvulsant activity. Recent studies have advanced our understanding of the endogenous cannabinoid system and renewed the interest in cannabinoids as a potential treatment for epilepsy. The endogenous cannabinoid system is rapidly activated after seizure activity but still little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying the role of the cannabinoid system in epilepsy. In this study epileptiform activity was induced by kainic acid (KA) and effects of the CB1 receptor agonists N-(2-Chloroethyl)-5Z,8Z,11Z,14Z-eicosatetraenamide (ACEA) on G-protein signaling using the agonist-stimulated [(35)S]GTPγS binding assay were evaluated. Control and KA treated rat hippocampus and cortex membranes were used. Our results showed that the ACEA displayed a high potency and efficacy in stimulating the G-proteins and when compared to the control animals, significant enhancements were observed in tissues from the KA treated animals. Potency and efficacy values were in particular increased in the hippocampus tissues. Furthermore, gene expression levels of the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) receptor and cannabinoid receptor interacting protein 1 (CRIP1) were measured by RT-PCR, where both CB1 and CRIP1 expressions were found to be elevated in the KA treated animals. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Cannabinoid receptor antagonists: pharmacological opportunities, clinical experience, and translational prognosis.

    PubMed

    Janero, David R; Makriyannis, Alexandros

    2009-03-01

    The endogenous cannabinoid (CB) (endocannabinoid) signaling system is involved in a variety of (patho)physiological processes, primarily by virtue of natural, arachidonic acid-derived lipids (endocannabinoids) that activate G protein-coupled CB1 and CB2 receptors. A hyperactive endocannabinoid system appears to contribute to the etiology of several disease states that constitute significant global threats to human health. Consequently, mounting interest surrounds the design and profiling of receptor-targeted CB antagonists as pharmacotherapeutics that attenuate endocannabinoid transmission for salutary gain. Experimental and clinical evidence supports the therapeutic potential of CB1 receptor antagonists to treat overweight/obesity, obesity-related cardiometabolic disorders, and substance abuse. Laboratory data suggest that CB2 receptor antagonists might be effective immunomodulatory and, perhaps, anti-inflammatory drugs. One CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist, rimonabant, has emerged as the first-in-class drug approved outside the United States for weight control. Select follow-on agents (taranabant, otenabant, surinabant, rosonabant, SLV-319, AVE1625, V24343) have also been studied in the clinic. However, rimonabant's market withdrawal in the European Union and suspension of rimonabant's, taranabant's, and otenabant's ongoing development programs have highlighted some adverse clinical side effects (especially nausea and psychiatric disturbances) of CB1 receptor antagonists/inverse agonists. Novel CB1 receptor ligands that are peripherally directed and/or exhibit neutral antagonism (the latter not affecting constitutive CB1 receptor signaling) may optimize the benefits of CB1 receptor antagonists while minimizing any risk. Indeed, CB1 receptor-neutral antagonists appear from preclinical data to offer efficacy comparable to or better than that of prototype CB1 receptor antagonists/inverse agonists, with less propensity to induce nausea. Continued

  16. Cannabinoid receptors and cholecystokinin in feeding inhibition.

    PubMed

    Alén, Francisco; Ramírez-López, M Teresa; Gómez de Heras, Raquel; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando; Orio, Laura

    2013-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system functions as a potent regulator of feeding behavior and energy balance through complex central and peripheral mechanisms. Recent findings have demonstrated the existence of cooperation between peripheral cannabinoid CB1 receptors and the satiety hormone cholecystokinin (CCK). The two systems have opposing actions in the modulation of feeding: while endocannabinoids such as anandamide promote feeding, CCK controls gastrointestinal motility and appetite suppression. In this review, we examine the individual contribution of endocannabinoids and CCK in the modulation of appetite and explore the interaction between the two systems. We also highlight the potential benefits of simultaneously targeting peripheral CB1 and CCK1 receptors to design new therapies to fight obesity. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Emerging strategies for exploiting cannabinoid receptor agonists as medicines.

    PubMed

    Pertwee, Roger G

    2009-02-01

    Medicines that activate cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) receptor are already in the clinic. These are Cesamet (nabilone), Marinol (dronabinol; Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol) and Sativex (Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol with cannabidiol). The first two of these medicines can be prescribed to reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Marinol can also be prescribed to stimulate appetite, while Sativex is prescribed for the symptomatic relief of neuropathic pain in adults with multiple sclerosis and as an adjunctive analgesic treatment for adult patients with advanced cancer. One challenge now is to identify additional therapeutic targets for cannabinoid receptor agonists, and a number of potential clinical applications for such agonists are mentioned in this review. A second challenge is to develop strategies that will improve the efficacy and/or the benefit-to-risk ratio of a cannabinoid receptor agonist. This review focuses on five strategies that have the potential to meet either or both of these objectives. These are strategies that involve: (i) targeting cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood-brain barrier; (ii) targeting cannabinoid receptors expressed by a particular tissue; (iii) targeting up-regulated cannabinoid receptors; (iv) targeting cannabinoid CB(2) receptors; or (v) 'multi-targeting'. Preclinical data that justify additional research directed at evaluating the clinical importance of each of these strategies are also discussed.

  18. Emerging strategies for exploiting cannabinoid receptor agonists as medicines

    PubMed Central

    Pertwee, Roger G

    2009-01-01

    Medicines that activate cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptor are already in the clinic. These are Cesamet® (nabilone), Marinol® (dronabinol; Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and Sativex® (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol with cannabidiol). The first two of these medicines can be prescribed to reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Marinol® can also be prescribed to stimulate appetite, while Sativex® is prescribed for the symptomatic relief of neuropathic pain in adults with multiple sclerosis and as an adjunctive analgesic treatment for adult patients with advanced cancer. One challenge now is to identify additional therapeutic targets for cannabinoid receptor agonists, and a number of potential clinical applications for such agonists are mentioned in this review. A second challenge is to develop strategies that will improve the efficacy and/or the benefit-to-risk ratio of a cannabinoid receptor agonist. This review focuses on five strategies that have the potential to meet either or both of these objectives. These are strategies that involve: (i) targeting cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood-brain barrier; (ii) targeting cannabinoid receptors expressed by a particular tissue; (iii) targeting up-regulated cannabinoid receptors; (iv) targeting cannabinoid CB2 receptors; or (v) ‘multi-targeting’. Preclinical data that justify additional research directed at evaluating the clinical importance of each of these strategies are also discussed. PMID:19226257

  19. Altered gene expression and functional activity of opioid receptors in the cerebellum of CB1 cannabinoid receptor knockout mice after acute treatments with cannabinoids.

    PubMed

    Páldyová, Estera; Bereczki, E; Sántha, M; Wenger, T; Borsodi, Anna; Benyhe, S

    2007-01-01

    Numerous studies have shown functional links between the cannabinoid and opioid systems. The goal of this study was to evaluate whether acute treatments by endogenous cannabinoid agonist, selective CB1 or CB2 receptor antagonists modulate the expression of mu- (MOR) and delta- (DOR) opioid receptor mRNA levels and functional activity in the cerebellum of transgenic mice deficient in the CB1 type of cannabis receptors. We examined the effect of noladin ether (endogenous cannabinoid agonist) pretreatment on MOR and DOR mRNA expression by using reverse transcription and real-time polimerase chain reaction (PCR) and the ability of subsequent application of the opioid agonists to activate G-proteins, as measured by [35S]GTPgammaS binding, in wild-type (CB1+/+) and CB1 cannabinoid receptor deficient (CB1-/-, 'knockout', K.O.) mice. The acute administration of noladin ether markedly reduced MOR-mediated G-protein activation and caused a significant increase in the level of MOR mRNAs in the cerebella of wildtype, but not in the CB1-/- mice. No significant differences were observed in DOR functional activity and mRNA expression in wild-type animals. In CB1-/- mice the expression of DOR mRNA increased after noladin ether treatment, but no changes were found in DOR functional activity. In addition, Rimonabant (selective central cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist) and SR144528 (selective peripheral cannabinoid CB2 receptor antagonist) caused significant potentiation in MOR functional activity in the wild-type animals, whereas DOR mediated G-protein activation was increased in the CB1-/- mice. In contrast, Rimonabant and SR144528 decreased the MOR and DOR mRNA expressions in both CB1+/+ and CB1-/- mice. Taken together, these results indicate that acute treatment with cannabinoids causes alterations in MOR and DOR mRNA expression and functional activity in the cerebella of wild-type and CB1 knockout mice indicating indirect interactions between these two signaling systems.

  20. Functional assessment of neuronal cannabinoid receptors in the muscular layers of human ileum and colon.

    PubMed

    Manara, L; Croci, T; Guagnini, F; Rinaldi-Carmona, M; Maffrand, J P; Le Fur, G; Mukenge, S; Ferla, G

    2002-04-01

    The notion that specific receptors account for the ability of natural and synthetic cannabinoids to alter physiological functions, prompted this study aimed at assessing their functional presence in the human gut. The effects have been studied of cannabinoids and selective antagonists of their receptors on chemically or electrically evoked contractions in preparations of human intestinal smooth muscle in vitro. Atropine prevented the contractions of longitudinal and circular muscle strips of ileum and colon induced by carbachol or electrical field stimulation; tetrodotoxin abolished only the latter which suggests they do involve activation of cholinergic neurons. The synthetic cannabinoid (+)WIN 55,212-2 had no effect on carbachol contractions, but in a concentration-dependent fashion prevented those elicited by electrical field stimulation - which were insensitive to the putative endogenous cannabinoid anandamide - more potently in longitudinal than in circular strips. The selective CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716, which had no effect in the absence of (+)WIN 55,212-2, competitively antagonised its inhibition of electrical field stimulation contractions, unlike the selective CB2 antagonist SR144528. Cannabinoid CB1 receptors are functionally present in the human ileum and colon; their pharmacological activation apparently results in inhibition of excitatory cholinergic pathways subserving smooth muscle contraction.

  1. Ontogenetic development of cannabinoid receptor expression and signal transduction functionality in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Mato, Susana; Del Olmo, Elena; Pazos, Angel

    2003-05-01

    Previous evidence suggests that the endogenous cannabinoid system emerges relatively early during brain development in the rat. However, the pre- and postnatal pattern of appearance of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in humans has not been analysed in detail. Furthermore, there is a complete lack of information about the functional ability of these proteins to activate signal transduction mechanisms during human development. In the present study we have explored CB1 receptor expression throughout the different areas of the developing human brain by [3H]CP55 940 autoradiography. We have also assessed CB1 functional coupling to G proteins during brain development by agonist-stimulated [35S]GTPgammaS autoradiography in the same cases. Our results indicate a significant density of cannabinoid receptors at 19 weeks' gestation in the same areas that contain these receptors in the adult human brain. Autoradiographic levels of CB1 receptors in these structures seem to increase progressively from early prenatal stages to adulthood. Interestingly, high densities of cannabinoid receptors have also been detected during prenatal development in fibre-enriched areas that are practically devoid of them in the adult brain. In parallel with these data, we have found that brain cannabinoid receptors are functionally coupled to signal transduction mechanisms from early prenatal stages. This early pattern of expression of functionally active cannabinoid receptors, along with the transient and atypical localization of these proteins in white matter areas during the prenatal stages, suggest an specific role of the endocannabinoid system in the events related to human neural development.

  2. Anandamide (arachidonylethanolamide), a brain cannabinoid receptor agonist, reduces sperm fertilizing capacity in sea urchins by inhibiting the acrosome reaction.

    PubMed Central

    Schuel, H; Goldstein, E; Mechoulam, R; Zimmerman, A M; Zimmerman, S

    1994-01-01

    Anandamide (arachidonylethanolamide) is an endogenous cannabinoid receptor agonist in mammalian brain. Sea urchin sperm contain a high-affinity cannabinoid receptor similar to the cannabinoid receptor in mammalian brain. (-)-delta 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in marihuana, reduces the fertilizing capacity of sea urchin sperm by blocking the acrosome reaction that normally is stimulated by a specific ligand in the egg's jelly coat. We now report that anandamide produces effects similar to those previously obtained with THC in Strongylocentrotus purpuratus in reducing sperm fertilizing capacity and inhibiting the egg jelly-stimulated acrosome reaction. Arachidonic acid does not inhibit the acrosome reaction under similar conditions. The adverse effects of anandamide on sperm fertilizing capacity and the acrosome reaction are reversible. The receptivity of unfertilized eggs to sperm and sperm motility are not impaired by anandamide. Under conditions where anandamide completely blocks the egg jelly-stimulated acrosome reaction, it does not inhibit the acrosome reaction artificially initiated by ionomycin, which promotes Ca2+ influx, and nigericin, which activates K+ channels in sperm. These findings provide additional evidence that the cannabinoid receptor in sperm plays a role in blocking the acrosome reaction, indicate that anandamide or a related molecule may be the natural ligand for the cannabinoid receptor in sea urchin sperm, and suggest that binding of anandamide to the cannabinoid receptor modulates stimulus-secretion-coupling in sperm by affecting an event prior to ion channel opening. PMID:8052642

  3. Mutation of putative GRK phosphorylation sites in the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) confers resistance to cannabinoid tolerance and hypersensitivity to cannabinoids in mice.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Daniel J; Davis, Brian J; Kearn, Chris S; Marcus, David; Cook, Alex J; Wager-Miller, Jim; Straiker, Alex; Myoga, Michael H; Karduck, Jeffrey; Leishman, Emma; Sim-Selley, Laura J; Czyzyk, Traci A; Bradshaw, Heather B; Selley, Dana E; Mackie, Ken

    2014-04-09

    For many G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), including cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R), desensitization has been proposed as a principal mechanism driving initial tolerance to agonists. GPCR desensitization typically requires phosphorylation by a G-protein-coupled receptor kinase (GRK) and interaction of the phosphorylated receptor with an arrestin. In simple model systems, CB1R is desensitized by GRK phosphorylation at two serine residues (S426 and S430). However, the role of these serine residues in tolerance and dependence for cannabinoids in vivo was unclear. Therefore, we generated mice where S426 and S430 were mutated to nonphosphorylatable alanines (S426A/S430A). S426A/S430A mutant mice were more sensitive to acutely administered delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC), have delayed tolerance to Δ(9)-THC, and showed increased dependence for Δ(9)-THC. S426A/S430A mutants also showed increased responses to elevated levels of endogenous cannabinoids. CB1R desensitization in the periaqueductal gray and spinal cord following 7 d of treatment with Δ(9)-THC was absent in S426A/S430A mutants. Δ(9)-THC-induced downregulation of CB1R in the spinal cord was also absent in S426A/S430A mutants. Cultured autaptic hippocampal neurons from S426A/S430A mice showed enhanced endocannabinoid-mediated depolarization-induced suppression of excitation (DSE) and reduced agonist-mediated desensitization of DSE. These results indicate that S426 and S430 play major roles in the acute response to, tolerance to, and dependence on cannabinoids. Additionally, S426A/S430A mice are a novel model for studying pathophysiological processes thought to involve excessive endocannabinoid signaling such as drug addiction and metabolic disease. These mice also validate the approach of mutating GRK phosphorylation sites involved in desensitization as a general means to confer exaggerated signaling to GPCRs in vivo.

  4. Pharmacology of cannabinoids.

    PubMed

    Grotenhermen, Franjo

    2004-01-01

    Dronabinol (Delta 9-tetrahydocannabinol, THC), the main source of the pharmacological effects caused by the use of cannabis, is an agonist to both the CB1 and the CB2 subtype of cannabinoid receptors. It is available on prescription in several countries. The non-psychotropic cannabidiol (CBD), some analogues of natural cannabinoids and their metabolites, antagonists at the cannabinoid receptors and modulators of the endogenous cannabinoid system are also promising candidates for clinical research and therapeutic uses. Cannabinoid receptors are distributed in the central nervous system and many peripheral tissues including spleen, leukocytes; reproductive, urinary and gastrointestinal tracts; endocrine glands, arteries and heart. Five endogenous cannabinoids have been detected so far, of whom anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol are best characterized. There is evidence that besides the two cannabinoid receptor subtypes cloned so far additional cannabinoid receptor subtypes and vanilloid receptors are involved in the complex physiological functions of the cannabinoid system that include motor coordination, memory procession, control of appetite, pain modulation and neuroprotection. Strategies to modulate their activity include inhibition of re-uptake into cells and inhibition of their degradation to increase concentration and duration of action. Properties of cannabinoids that might be of therapeutic use include analgesia, muscle relaxation, immunosuppression, anti-inflammation, anti-allergic effects, sedation, improvement of mood, stimulation of appetite, anti-emesis, lowering of intraocular pressure, bronchodilation, neuroprotection and antineoplastic effects.

  5. Immunolocalization of cannabinoid receptor type 1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, and transient receptor potential vanilloid channels in pterygium.

    PubMed

    Assimakopoulou, Martha; Pagoulatos, Dionysios; Nterma, Pinelopi; Pharmakakis, Nikolaos

    2017-10-01

    Cannabinoids, as multi‑target mediators, activate cannabinoid receptors and transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV) channels. There is evidence to support a functional interaction of cannabinoid receptors and TRPV channels when they are coexpressed. Human conjunctiva demonstrates widespread cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1), CB2 and TRPV channel localization. The aim of the present study was to investigate the expression profile for cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) and TRPV channels in pterygium, an ocular surface lesion originating from the conjunctiva. Semi‑serial paraffin‑embedded sections from primary and recurrent pterygium samples were immunohistochemically examined with the use of specific antibodies. All of the epithelial layers in 94, 78, 96, 73 and 80% of pterygia cases, exhibited CB1, CB2, TRPV1, TRPV2 and TRPV3 cytoplasmic immunoreactivity, respectively. The epithelium of all pterygia cases (100%) showed strong, mainly nuclear, TRPV4 immunolocalization. In the pterygium stroma, scattered cells demonstrated intense CB2 immunoreactivity, whereas vascular endothelial cells were immunopositive for the cannabinoid receptors and all TRPV channels. Quantitative analyses of the immunohistochemical findings in epithelial cells demonstrated a significantly higher expression level in conjunctiva compared with primary pterygia (P=0.04) for CB1, but not for CB2 (P>0.05). Additionally, CB1 and CB2 were significantly highly expressed in primary pterygia (P=0.01), compared with recurrent pterygia. Furthermore, CB1 expression levels were significantly correlated with CB2 expression levels in primary pterygia (P=0.005), but not in recurrent pterygia (P>0.05). No significant difference was detected for all TRPV channel expression levels between pterygium (primary or recurrent) and conjunctival tissues (P>0.05). A significant correlation between the TRPV1 and TRPV3 expression levels (P<0.001) was detected independently of pterygium recurrence. Finally, TRPV

  6. Identification of cannabinoid type 1 receptor in dog hair follicles.

    PubMed

    Mercati, Francesca; Dall'Aglio, Cecilia; Pascucci, Luisa; Boiti, Cristiano; Ceccarelli, Piero

    2012-01-01

    In veterinary medicine, there is an increasing interest in the study of the endo-cannabinoid system and the possible use of the cannabinoids for the treatment of several diseases. Cannabinoid receptors (CB) are widely distributed in human and laboratory animal tissues, justifying the involvement of the endo-cannabinoid system in a great number of metabolic ways. Since there are no data regarding cannabinoid receptors in hair follicles of domestic animals, we investigated the presence and localization of CB1 receptor in dog hair follicles. By using a goat anti-CB1 polyclonal antibody, we observed CB1 receptor in the proximal part of both primary and secondary hair follicles. Staining was localized in the inner root sheath cells. We suppose that the endo-cannabinoid system is involved in the molecular mechanisms regulating hair follicle activity in dog. The identification of CB1 receptor at the level of the inner root sheath may help in the understanding of hair follicle biology and the possibility that cannabinoid molecules could be considered as suitable therapeutic tools in dog.

  7. Endogenous and Synthetic Cannabinoids as Therapeutics in Retinal Disease

    PubMed Central

    Kokona, Despina; Georgiou, Panagiota-Christina; Kounenidakis, Mihalis; Kiagiadaki, Foteini; Thermos, Kyriaki

    2016-01-01

    The functional significance of cannabinoids in ocular physiology and disease has been reported some decades ago. In the early 1970s, subjects who smoked Cannabis sativa developed lower intraocular pressure (IOP). This led to the isolation of phytocannabinoids from this plant and the study of their therapeutic effects in glaucoma. The main treatment of this disease to date involves the administration of drugs mediating either the decrease of aqueous humour synthesis or the increase of its outflow and thus reduces IOP. However, the reduction of IOP is not sufficient to prevent visual field loss. Retinal diseases, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, have been defined as neurodegenerative diseases and characterized by ischemia-induced excitotoxicity and loss of retinal neurons. Therefore, new therapeutic strategies must be applied in order to target retinal cell death, reduction of visual acuity, and blindness. The aim of the present review is to address the neuroprotective and therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in retinal disease. PMID:26881135

  8. Endogenous and Synthetic Cannabinoids as Therapeutics in Retinal Disease.

    PubMed

    Kokona, Despina; Georgiou, Panagiota-Christina; Kounenidakis, Mihalis; Kiagiadaki, Foteini; Thermos, Kyriaki

    2016-01-01

    The functional significance of cannabinoids in ocular physiology and disease has been reported some decades ago. In the early 1970s, subjects who smoked Cannabis sativa developed lower intraocular pressure (IOP). This led to the isolation of phytocannabinoids from this plant and the study of their therapeutic effects in glaucoma. The main treatment of this disease to date involves the administration of drugs mediating either the decrease of aqueous humour synthesis or the increase of its outflow and thus reduces IOP. However, the reduction of IOP is not sufficient to prevent visual field loss. Retinal diseases, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, have been defined as neurodegenerative diseases and characterized by ischemia-induced excitotoxicity and loss of retinal neurons. Therefore, new therapeutic strategies must be applied in order to target retinal cell death, reduction of visual acuity, and blindness. The aim of the present review is to address the neuroprotective and therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in retinal disease.

  9. Toxicological profiles of selected synthetic cannabinoids showing high binding affinities to the cannabinoid receptor subtype CB₁.

    PubMed

    Koller, Verena J; Zlabinger, Gerhard J; Auwärter, Volker; Fuchs, Sabine; Knasmueller, Siegfried

    2013-07-01

    Products containing synthetic cannabinoids are consumed as a surrogate for marihuana due to their non-detectability with commonly used drug tests and their strong cannabimimetic effects. Because data concerning their toxicological properties are scarce, the cytotoxic, genotoxic, immunomodulatory, and hormonal activities of four naphthoylindole compounds (JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-122 and JWH-210) and of one benzoylindole (AM-694) were studied in human cell lines and primary cells; tetrahydrocannabinol was included as the classical non-endogenous cannabinoid receptor ligand. All compounds induced damage to the cell membranes of buccal (TR146) and breast (MCF-7) derived cells at concentrations of ≥75-100 μM. No cytotoxic responses were seen in other assays which reflect mitochondrial damage, protein synthesis, and lysosomal activities. JWH-073 and JWH-122 induced DNA migration in buccal and liver cells (HepG2) in single cell gel electrophoresis assays, while JWH-210 was only in the latter cell line active. No estrogenic activities were detected in bone marrow cells (U2-OS), but all compounds caused anti-estrogenic effects at levels between 2.1 and 23.0 μM. Furthermore, no impact on cytokine release (i.e., on IL-10, IL-6, IL-12/23p40 and TNFα levels) was seen in LPS-stimulated human PBMCs, except with JWH-210 and JWH-122 which caused a decrease of TNFα and IL-12/23p40. All toxic effects were observed with concentrations higher than those expected in body fluids of users. Since genotoxic effects are in general linear over a wide concentration range and the exposure levels may be higher in epithelial cells than [corrected] in serum, further experimental work is required to find out if DNA damage takes place in drug users.

  10. Cannabinoid receptors and TRPA1 on neuroprotection in a model of retinal ischemia.

    PubMed

    Araújo, D S M; Miya-Coreixas, V S; Pandolfo, P; Calaza, K C

    2017-01-01

    Retinal ischemia is a pathological event present in several retinopathies such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, leading to partial or full blindness with no effective treatment available. Since synthetic and endogenous cannabinoids have been studied as modulators of ischemic events in the central nervous system (CNS), the present study aimed to investigate the involvement of cannabinoid system in the cell death induced by ischemia in an avascular (chick) retina. We observed that chick retinal treatment with a combination of WIN 55212-2 and cannabinoid receptor antagonists (either AM251/O-2050 or AM630) decreased the release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) induced by retinal ischemia in an oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) model. Further, the increased availability of endocannabinoids together with cannabinoid receptor antagonists also had a neuroprotective effect. Surprisingly, retinal exposure to any of these drugs alone did not prevent the release of LDH stimulated by OGD. Since cannabinoids may also activate transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, we investigated the involvement of TRPA1 receptors (TRPA1) in retinal cell death induced by ischemic events. We demonstrated the presence of TRPA1 in the chick retina, and observed an increase in TRPA1 content after OGD, both by western blot and immunohistochemistry. In addition, the selective activation of TRPA1 by mustard oil (MO) did not worsen retinal LDH release induced by OGD, whereas the blockage of TRPA1 completely prevented the extravasation of cellular LDH in ischemic condition. Hence, these results show that during the ischemic event there is an augment of TRPA1, and activation of this receptor is important in cell death induction. The data also indicate that metabotropic cannabinoid receptors, both type 1 and 2, are not involved with the cell death found in the early stages of ischemia. Therefore, the study points to a potential role of TRPA1 as a target for neuroprotective approaches in retinal

  11. Characterization of cannabinoid receptor ligands in tissues natively expressing cannabinoid CB2 receptors

    PubMed Central

    Marini, Pietro; Cascio, Maria-Grazia; King, Angela; Pertwee, Roger G; Ross, Ruth A

    2013-01-01

    Background and Purpose Although cannabinoid CB2 receptor ligands have been widely characterized in recombinant systems in vitro, little pharmacological characterization has been performed in tissues natively expressing CB2 receptors. The aim of this study was to compare the pharmacology of CB2 receptor ligands in tissue natively expressing CB2 receptors (human, rat and mouse spleen) and hCB2-transfected CHO cells. Experimental Approach We tested the ability of well-known cannabinoid CB2 receptor ligands to stimulate or inhibit [35S]GTPγS binding to mouse, rat and human spleen membranes and to hCB2-transfected CHO cell membranes. cAMP assays were also performed in hCB2-CHO cells. Key Results The data presented demonstrate that: (i) CP 55,940, WIN 55,212-2 and JWH 133 behave as CB2 receptor full agonists both in spleen and hCB2-CHO cells, in both [35S]GTPγS and cAMP assays; (ii) JWH 015 behaves as a low-efficacy agonist in spleen as well as in hCB2-CHO cells when tested in the [35S]GTPγS assay, while it displays full agonism when tested in the cAMP assay using hCB2-CHO cells; (iii) (R)-AM 1241 and GW 405833 behave as agonists in the [35S]GTPγS assay using spleen, instead it behaves as a low-efficacy inverse agonist in hCB2-CHO cells; and (iv) SR 144528, AM 630 and JTE 907 behave as CB2 receptor inverse agonists in all the tissues. Conclusion and Implications Our results demonstrate that CB2 receptor ligands can display differential pharmacology when assays are conducted in tissues that natively express CB2 receptors and imply that conclusions from recombinant CB2 receptors should be treated with caution. PMID:23711022

  12. Deletion of CB2 cannabinoid receptors reduces synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation in the mouse hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Li, Yong; Kim, Jimok

    2016-03-01

    The effects of cannabinoids are mostly mediated by two types of cannabinoid receptors--CB1 receptors in the nervous system and CB2 receptors in the immune system. However, CB2 cannabinoid receptors have recently been discovered in the brain and also implicated in neurophysiological functions. The deletion of CB2 receptors in mice induces long-term memory deficits and schizophrenia-like behaviors, implying that endogenous activity of CB2 receptors might be involved in neuropsychiatric effects. Little is known about the cellular mechanisms by which physiological activation of CB2 receptors modulates neuronal functions. We aimed to determine how deletion of CB2 receptors in mice affects synaptic transmission and plasticity. Electrophysiological and morphological studies indicated that CB2 receptor knockout resulted in decreases in excitatory synaptic transmission, long-term potentiation, and dendritic spine density in the hippocampus. Our data imply that endogenous activity of CB2 receptors might contribute to the maintenance of synaptic functions and the expression of normal long-term potentiation. This study provides insights into the role of CB2 cannabinoid receptors in regulating cognitive functions such as long-term memory. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Cannabinoid activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors: potential for modulation of inflammatory disease.

    PubMed

    O'Sullivan, S E; Kendall, D A

    2010-08-01

    Cannabinoids act via cell surface G protein-coupled receptors (CB(1) and CB(2)) and the ion channel receptor TRPV1. Evidence has now emerged suggesting that an additional target is the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) family of nuclear receptors. There are three PPAR subtypes alpha, delta (also known as beta) and gamma, which regulate cell differentiation, metabolism and immune function. The major endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, and ajulemic acid, a structural analogue of the phytocannabinoid Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), have anti-inflammatory properties mediated by PPARgamma. Other cannabinoids which activate PPARgamma include N-arachidonoyl-dopamine, THC, cannabidiol, HU210, WIN55212-2 and CP55940. The endogenous acylethanolamines, oleoylethanolamide and palmitoylethanolamide regulate feeding and body weight, stimulate fat utilization and have neuroprotective effects mediated through PPARalpha. Other endocannabinoids that activate PPARalpha include anandamide, virodhamine and noladin ether. There is, as yet, little direct evidence for interactions of cannabinoids with PPARdelta. There is a convergence of effects of cannabinoids, acting via cell surface and nuclear receptors, on immune cell function which provides promise for the targeted therapy of a variety of immune, particularly neuroinflammatory, diseases. 2009 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  14. Expression of the cannabinoid receptor CB1 in distinct neuronal subpopulations in the adult mouse forebrain.

    PubMed

    Marsicano, G; Lutz, B

    1999-12-01

    Cannabinoids can modulate motor behaviour, learning and memory, cognition and pain perception. These effects correlate with the expression of the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and with the presence of endogenous cannabinoids in the brain. In trying to obtain further insights into the mechanisms underlying the modulatory effects of cannabinoids, CB1-positive neurons were determined in the murine forebrain at a single cell resolution. We performed a double in situ hybridization study to detect mRNA of CB1 in combination with mRNA of glutamic acid decarboxylase 65k, neuropeptide cholecystokinin (CCK), parvalbumin, calretinin and calbindin D28k, respectively. Our results revealed that CB1-expressing cells can be divided into distinct neuronal subpopulations. There is a clear distinction between neurons containing CB1 mRNA either at high levels or low levels. The majority of high CB1-expressing cells are GABAergic (gamma-aminobutyric acid) neurons belonging mainly to the cholecystokinin-positive and parvalbumin-negative type of interneurons (basket cells) and, to a lower extent, to the calbindin D28k-positive mid-proximal dendritic inhibitory interneurons. Only a fraction of low CB1-expressing cells is GABAergic. In the hippocampus, amygdala and entorhinal cortex area, CB1 mRNA is present at low but significant levels in many non-GABAergic cells that can be considered as projecting principal neurons. Thus, a complex mechanism appears to underlie the modulatory effects of cannabinoids. They might act on principal glutamatergic circuits as well as modulate local GABAergic inhibitory circuits. CB1 is very highly coexpressed with CCK. It is known that cannabinoids and CCK often have opposite effects on behaviour and physiology. Therefore, we suggest that a putative cross-talk between cannabinoids and CCK might exist and will be relevant to better understanding of physiology and pharmacology of the cannabinoid system.

  15. Cannabinoid Receptor 2 Signaling in Neurodegenerative Disorders: From Pathogenesis to a Promising Therapeutic Target

    PubMed Central

    Cassano, Tommaso; Calcagnini, Silvio; Pace, Lorenzo; De Marco, Federico; Romano, Adele; Gaetani, Silvana

    2017-01-01

    As a consequence of an increasingly aging population, the number of people affected by neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease, is rapidly increasing. Although the etiology of these diseases has not been completely defined, common molecular mechanisms including neuroinflammation, excitotoxicity and mitochondrial dysfunction have been confirmed and can be targeted therapeutically. Moreover, recent studies have shown that endogenous cannabinoid signaling plays a number of modulatory roles throughout the central nervous system (CNS), including the neuroinflammation and neurogenesis. In particular, the up-regulation of type-2 cannabinoid (CB2) receptors has been found in a number of neurodegenerative disorders. Thus, the modulation of CB2 receptor signaling may represent a promising therapeutic target with minimal psychotropic effects that can be used to modulate endocannabinoid-based therapeutic approaches and to reduce neuronal degeneration. For these reasons this review will focus on the CB2 receptor as a promising pharmacological target in a number of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:28210207

  16. The preimplantation mouse embryo is a target for cannabinoid ligand-receptor signaling.

    PubMed Central

    Paria, B C; Das, S K; Dey, S K

    1995-01-01

    Using a reverse transcription-coupled PCR, we demonstrated that both brain and spleen type cannabinoid receptor (CB1-R and CB2-R, respectively) mRNAs are expressed in the preimplantation mouse embryo. The CB1-R mRNA expression was coincident with the activation of the embryonic genome late in the two-cell stage, whereas the CB2-R mRNA was present from the one-cell through the blastocyst stages. The major psychoactive component of marijuana (-)-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol [(-)-THC] inhibited forskolin-stimulated cAMP generation in the blastocyst, and this inhibition was prevented by pertussis toxin. However, the inactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) failed to influence this response. These results suggest that cannabinoid receptors in the embryo are coupled to inhibitory guanine nucleotide binding proteins. Further, the oviduct and uterus exhibited the enzymatic capacity to synthesize the putative endogenous cannabinoid ligand arachidonylethanolamide (anandamide). Synthetic and natural cannabinoid agonists [WIN 55,212-2, CP 55,940, (-)-THC, and anandamide], but not CBD or arachidonic acid, arrested the development of two-cell embryos primarily between the four-cell and eight-cell stages in vitro in a dose-dependent manner. Anandamide also interfered with the development of eight-cell embryos to blastocysts in culture. The autoradiographic studies readily detected binding of [3H]anandamide in embryos at all stages of development. Positive signals were present in one-cell embryos and all blastomeres of two-cell through four-cell embryos. However, most of the binding sites in eight-cell embryos and morulae were present in the outer cells. In the blastocyst, these signals were primarily localized in the mural trophectoderm with low levels of signals in the polar trophectoderm, while little or no signals were noted in inner cell mass cells.These results establish that the preimplantation mouse embryo is a target for cannabinoid ligands. Consequently, many of the

  17. Cannabinoids inhibit cholinergic contraction in human airways through prejunctional CB1 receptors

    PubMed Central

    Grassin-Delyle, S; Naline, E; Buenestado, A; Faisy, C; Alvarez, J-C; Salvator, H; Abrial, C; Advenier, C; Zemoura, L; Devillier, P

    2014-01-01

    Background and Purpose Marijuana smoking is widespread in many countries, and the use of smoked synthetic cannabinoids is increasing. Smoking a marijuana joint leads to bronchodilation in both healthy subjects and asthmatics. The effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and synthetic cannabinoids on human bronchus reactivity have not previously been investigated. Here, we sought to assess the effects of natural and synthetic cannabinoids on cholinergic bronchial contraction. Experimental Approach Human bronchi isolated from 88 patients were suspended in an organ bath and contracted by electrical field stimulation (EFS) in the presence of the phytocannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the endogenous 2-arachidonoylglycerol, the synthetic dual CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists WIN55,212-2 and CP55,940, the synthetic, CB2-receptor-selective agonist JWH-133 or the selective GPR55 agonist O-1602. The receptors involved in the response were characterized by using selective CB1 and CB2 receptor antagonists (SR141716 and SR144528 respectively). Key Results Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, WIN55,212-2 and CP55,940 induced concentration-dependent inhibition of cholinergic contractions, with maximum inhibitions of 39, 76 and 77% respectively. JWH-133 only had an effect at high concentrations. 2-Arachidonoylglycerol and O-1602 were devoid of any effect. Only CB1 receptors were involved in the response because the effects of cannabinoids were antagonized by SR141716, but not by SR144528. The cannabinoids did not alter basal tone or contractions induced by exogenous Ach. Conclusions and Implications Activation of prejunctional CB1 receptors mediates the inhibition of EFS-evoked cholinergic contraction in human bronchus. This mechanism may explain the acute bronchodilation produced by marijuana smoking. PMID:24467410

  18. Cannabinoids inhibit cholinergic contraction in human airways through prejunctional CB1 receptors.

    PubMed

    Grassin-Delyle, S; Naline, E; Buenestado, A; Faisy, C; Alvarez, J-C; Salvator, H; Abrial, C; Advenier, C; Zemoura, L; Devillier, P

    2014-06-01

    Marijuana smoking is widespread in many countries, and the use of smoked synthetic cannabinoids is increasing. Smoking a marijuana joint leads to bronchodilation in both healthy subjects and asthmatics. The effects of Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol and synthetic cannabinoids on human bronchus reactivity have not previously been investigated. Here, we sought to assess the effects of natural and synthetic cannabinoids on cholinergic bronchial contraction. Human bronchi isolated from 88 patients were suspended in an organ bath and contracted by electrical field stimulation (EFS) in the presence of the phytocannabinoid Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol, the endogenous 2-arachidonoylglycerol, the synthetic dual CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists WIN55,212-2 and CP55,940, the synthetic, CB2 -receptor-selective agonist JWH-133 or the selective GPR55 agonist O-1602. The receptors involved in the response were characterized by using selective CB1 and CB2 receptor antagonists (SR141716 and SR144528 respectively). Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol, WIN55,212-2 and CP55,940 induced concentration-dependent inhibition of cholinergic contractions, with maximum inhibitions of 39, 76 and 77% respectively. JWH-133 only had an effect at high concentrations. 2-Arachidonoylglycerol and O-1602 were devoid of any effect. Only CB1 receptors were involved in the response because the effects of cannabinoids were antagonized by SR141716, but not by SR144528. The cannabinoids did not alter basal tone or contractions induced by exogenous Ach. Activation of prejunctional CB1 receptors mediates the inhibition of EFS-evoked cholinergic contraction in human bronchus. This mechanism may explain the acute bronchodilation produced by marijuana smoking. © 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.

  19. Presynaptically located CB1 cannabinoid receptors regulate GABA release from axon terminals of specific hippocampal interneurons.

    PubMed

    Katona, I; Sperlágh, B; Sík, A; Käfalvi, A; Vizi, E S; Mackie, K; Freund, T F

    1999-06-01

    To understand the functional significance and mechanisms of action in the CNS of endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids, it is crucial to identify the neural elements that serve as the structural substrate of these actions. We used a recently developed antibody against the CB1 cannabinoid receptor to study this question in hippocampal networks. Interneurons with features typical of basket cells showed a selective, intense staining for CB1 in all hippocampal subfields and layers. Most of them (85.6%) contained cholecystokinin (CCK), which corresponded to 96.9% of all CCK-positive interneurons, whereas only 4.6% of the parvalbumin (PV)-containing basket cells expressed CB1. Accordingly, electron microscopy revealed that CB1-immunoreactive axon terminals of CCK-containing basket cells surrounded the somata and proximal dendrites of pyramidal neurons, whereas PV-positive basket cell terminals in similar locations were negative for CB1. The synthetic cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 (0.01-3 microM) reduced dose-dependently the electrical field stimulation-induced [3H]GABA release from superfused hippocampal slices, with an EC50 value of 0. 041 microM. Inhibition of GABA release by WIN 55,212-2 was not mediated by inhibition of glutamatergic transmission because the WIN 55,212-2 effect was not reduced by the glutamate blockers AP5 and CNQX. In contrast, the CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR 141716A (1 microM) prevented this effect, whereas by itself it did not change the outflow of [3H]GABA. These results suggest that cannabinoid-mediated modulation of hippocampal interneuron networks operate largely via presynaptic receptors on CCK-immunoreactive basket cell terminals. Reduction of GABA release from these terminals is the likely mechanism by which both endogenous and exogenous CB1 ligands interfere with hippocampal network oscillations and associated cognitive functions.

  20. Control of Inhibition by the Direct Action of Cannabinoids on GABAA Receptors.

    PubMed

    Golovko, Tatiana; Min, Rogier; Lozovaya, Natalia; Falconer, Caroline; Yatsenko, Natalia; Tsintsadze, Timur; Tsintsadze, Vera; Ledent, Catherine; Harvey, Robert J; Belelli, Delia; Lambert, Jeremy J; Rozov, Andrei; Burnashev, Nail

    2015-09-01

    Cannabinoids are known to regulate inhibitory synaptic transmission via activation of presynaptic G protein-coupled cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1Rs). Additionally, recent studies suggest that cannabinoids can also directly interact with recombinant GABAA receptors (GABAARs), potentiating currents activated by micromolar concentrations of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). However, the impact of this direct interaction on GABAergic inhibition in central nervous system is unknown. Here we report that currents mediated by recombinant GABAARs activated by high (synaptic) concentrations of GABA as well as GABAergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) at neocortical fast spiking (FS) interneuron to pyramidal neuron synapses are suppressed by exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids in a CB1R-independent manner. This IPSC suppression may account for disruption of inhibitory control of pyramidal neurons by FS interneurons. At FS interneuron to pyramidal neuron synapses, endocannabinoids induce synaptic low-pass filtering of GABAAR-mediated currents evoked by high-frequency stimulation. The CB1R-independent suppression of inhibition is synapse specific. It does not occur in CB1R containing hippocampal cholecystokinin-positive interneuron to pyramidal neuron synapses. Furthermore, in contrast to synaptic receptors, the activity of extrasynaptic GABAARs in neocortical pyramidal neurons is enhanced by cannabinoids in a CB1R-independent manner. Thus, cannabinoids directly interact differentially with synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAARs, providing a potent novel context-dependent mechanism for regulation of inhibition. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Effects of the cannabinoid receptor agonist CP 55,940 and the cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR 141716 on intracranial self-stimulation in Lewis rats.

    PubMed

    Arnold, J C; Hunt, G E; McGregor, I S

    2001-11-21

    Lewis rats were trained to self-stimulate the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) using a rate-frequency paradigm. They were then tested for the effects of the cannabinoid receptor agonist CP 55,940, the selective cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR 141716 and the dopamine D1 receptor antagonist SCH 23390. CP 55,940 (0, 10, 25 and 50 microg/kg i.p.) had no effect on MFB self-stimulation behaviour as assessed by the M50, the stimulation frequency at which half-maximal response rates were obtained. With SR 141716, only a very high dose (20 mg/kg i.p.) caused a significant inhibition of the rewarding efficacy of the stimulation. This was seen as an increase in the M50. All other doses of SR 141716 (0, 1, 3, 10 mg/kg i.p.) were ineffective in modulating the M50. By comparison, a relatively low dose (0.06 mg/kg i.p.) of SCH 23390 caused a large increase in M50. These results indicate a relatively modest influence, if any at all, of exogenous or endogenous cannabinoids on reward-relevant neurotransmission.

  2. Endogenous Cannabinoid Signaling Is Required for Voluntary Exercise-induced Enhancement of Progenitor Cell Proliferation in the Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Matthew N.; Titterness, Andrea K.; Morrish, Anna C.; Carrier, Erica J.; Lee, Tiffany T.-Y.; Gil-Mohapel, Joana; Gorzalka, Boris B.; Hillard, Cecilia J.; Christie, Brian R.

    2009-01-01

    Voluntary exercise and endogenous cannabinoid activity have independently been shown to regulate hippocampal plasticity. The aim of the current study was to determine whether the endocannabinoid system is regulated by voluntary exercise and if these changes contribute to exercise-induced enhancement of cell proliferation. In Experiment 1, eight days of free access to a running wheel increased the agonist binding site density of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor; CB1 receptor-mediated GTPγS binding; and the tissue content of the endocannabinoid anandamide in the hippocampus but not in the prefrontal cortex. In Experiment 2, the CB1 receptor antagonist AM251 (1 mg/kg) was administered daily to animals given free access to a running wheel for 8 days, after which cell proliferation in the hippocampus was examined through immunohistochemical analysis of the cell cycle protein Ki-67. Voluntary exercise increased proliferation of progenitor cells, as evidenced by the increase in the number of Ki-67 positive cells in the granule cell layer of the dentate gyrus in the hippocampus. However, this effect was abrogated by concurrent treatment with AM251, indicating that the increase in endocannabinoid signaling in the hippocampus is required for the exercise-induced increase in cell proliferation. These data demonstrate that the endocannabinoid system in the hippocampus is sensitive to environmental change and suggest that it is a mediator of experience-induced plasticity. PMID:19489006

  3. Cannabinoid receptor signaling in progenitor/stem cell proliferation and differentiation.

    PubMed

    Galve-Roperh, Ismael; Chiurchiù, Valerio; Díaz-Alonso, Javier; Bari, Monica; Guzmán, Manuel; Maccarrone, Mauro

    2013-10-01

    Cannabinoids, the active components of cannabis (Cannabis sativa) extracts, have attracted the attention of human civilizations for centuries, much earlier than the discovery and characterization of their substrate of action, the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The latter is an ensemble of endogenous lipids, their receptors [in particular type-1 (CB1) and type-2 (CB2) cannabinoid receptors] and metabolic enzymes. Cannabinoid signaling regulates cell proliferation, differentiation and survival, with different outcomes depending on the molecular targets and cellular context involved. Cannabinoid receptors are expressed and functional from the very early developmental stages, when they regulate embryonic and trophoblast stem cell survival and differentiation, and thus may affect the formation of manifold adult specialized tissues derived from the three different germ layers (ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm). In the ectoderm-derived nervous system, both CB1 and CB2 receptors are present in neural progenitor/stem cells and control their self-renewal, proliferation and differentiation. CB1 and CB2 show opposite patterns of expression, the former increasing and the latter decreasing along neuronal differentiation. Recently, endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling has also been shown to regulate proliferation and differentiation of mesoderm-derived hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells, with a key role in determining the formation of several cell types in peripheral tissues, including blood cells, adipocytes, osteoblasts/osteoclasts and epithelial cells. Here, we will review these new findings, which unveil the involvement of eCB signaling in the regulation of progenitor/stem cell fate in the nervous system and in the periphery. The developmental regulation of cannabinoid receptor expression and cellular/subcellular localization, together with their role in progenitor/stem cell biology, may have important implications in human health and disease. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd

  4. Reduced Brain Cannabinoid Receptor Availability in Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Ranganathan, Mohini; Cortes-Briones, Jose; Radhakrishnan, Rajiv; Thurnauer, Halle; Planeta, Beata; Skosnik, Patrick; Gao, Hong; Labaree, David; Neumeister, Alexander; Pittman, Brian; Surti, Toral; Huang, Yiyun; Carson, Richard E; D'Souza, Deepak Cyril

    2016-06-15

    Several lines of evidence suggest the presence of abnormalities in the endocannabinoid (eCB) system in schizophrenia (SCZ). However, there are limited in vivo measures of the eCB system in SCZ. Twenty five male SCZ subjects (SCZs) (18 antipsychotic treated and 7 antipsychotic free) were compared with 18 age-matched male healthy control subjects (HCs). Subjects underwent one positron emission tomography scan each with the cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1R) selective radiotracer [(11)C]OMAR on the high resolution research tomography scanner. Regional volume of distribution (VT) values were determined using kinetic modeling of positron emission tomography data as a measure of CB1R availability. Group differences in mean composite [(11)C]OMAR VT values were compared between SCZs and HCs. Exploratory comparisons of CB1R availability within 15 brain regions were also conducted. All analyses were covaried for age and body mass index. SCZs showed significantly (p = .02) lower composite [(11)C]OMAR VT relative to HCs (~12% difference, effect size d = .73). [(11)C]OMAR VT was significantly (all ps < .05) lower in SCZs in the amygdala, caudate, posterior cingulate cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and insula. Composite [11]OMAR VT was HCs > antipsychotic treated SZCs > antipsychotic free SZCs. Furthermore, composite [(11)C]OMAR VT was greater in HCs than SCZ smokers (n = 11) and SCZ nonsmokers (n = 14). CB1R availability is lower in male SCZ subjects compared with HCs. Furthermore, antipsychotics and tobacco use may increase CB1R availability in this population. The findings of the study provide further evidence supporting the hypothesis that alterations in the eCB system might contribute to the pathophysiology of SCZ. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Reduced Brain Cannabinoid Receptor Availability In Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Ranganathan, Mohini; Cortes, Jose; Radhakrishnan, Rajiv; Thurnauer, Halle; Planeta, Beata; Skosnik, Patrick; Gao, Hong; Labaree, David; Neumeister, Alexander; Pittman, Brian; Surti, Toral; Huang, Yiyun; Carson, Richard E.; D’Souza, Deepak Cyril

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND Several lines of evidence suggest the presence of abnormalities in the endocannabinoid (eCB) system in schizophrenia (SCZ). However, there are limited in vivo measures of the eCB system in SCZ. METHODS Twenty five male SCZ subjects (SCZs), 18 antipsychotic treated [SCZ-MED] and 7 antipsychotic free [SCZ-UNMED]) were compared to 18 age- matched male healthy control subjects (HCs). Subjects underwent one Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan each with the cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1R) selective radiotracer [11C]OMAR on the High Resolution Research Tomography (HRRT) scanner. Regional volume of distribution (VT) values were determined using kinetic modeling of PET data as a measure of CB1R availability. Group differences in mean composite [11C]OMAR VT values were compared between SCZs and HCs. Exploratory comparisons of CB1R availability within 15 brain regions were also conducted. All analyses were covaried for age and body mass index. RESULTS SCZs showed significantly (p =0.02) lower composite [11C]OMAR VT relative to HCs (~12% difference, effect size d= 0.73). [11C]OMAR VT was significantly (all ps <0.05) lower in SCZs in the amygdala, caudate, posterior cingulate cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus and insula. Composite [11C]OMAR VT was greater in HCs> SCZ-MED>SCZ-UNMED. Furthermore, composite [11C]OMAR VT was greater in HCs> SCZ smokers (n=11) > SCZ non-smokers (n=14). CONCLUSIONS CB1R availability is lower in males SCZs compared to HCs. Furthermore, antipsychotics and tobacco use may increase CB1R availability in this population. The findings of the study provide further evidence supporting the hypothesis that alterations in the eCB system might contribute to the pathophysiology of SCZ. PMID:26432420

  6. Cannabinoids in pain management: CB1, CB2 and non-classic receptor ligands.

    PubMed

    Davis, Mellar P

    2014-08-01

    Commercially available cannabinoids are subject to psychotomimetic and addiction (cannabinomimetic) adverse effects largely through activation of the cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1r). The available commercial cannabinoids have a narrow therapeutic index. Recently developed peripherally restricted cannabinoids, regionally administered cannabinoids, bifunctional cannabinoid ligands and cannabinoid enzyme inhibitors, endocannabinoids, which do not interact with classic cannabinoid receptors (CB1r and CB2r), cannabinoid receptor antagonists and selective CB1r agonists hold promise as analgesics. This author provides a review of the current investigational cannabinoids currently in development for pain management. The author also provides their perspective on the future of the field. Regional and peripherally restricted cannabinoids will reduce cannabinomimetic side effects. Spinal cannabinoids may increase the therapeutic index by limiting the dose necessary for response and minimize drugs exposure to supraspinal sites where cannabinomimetic side effects originate. Cannabinoid bifunctional ligands should be further explored. The combination of a CB2r agonist with a transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV-1) antagonist may improve the therapeutic index of the CB2r agonist. Enzyme inhibitors plus TRPV-1 blockers should be further explored. The development of analgesic tolerance with enzyme inhibitors and the pronociceptive effects of prostamides limit the benefits to cannabinoid hydrolyzing enzyme inhibitors. Most clinically productive development of cannabinoids over the next 5 years will be in the area of selective CB2r agonists. These agents will be tested in various inflammatory, osteoarthritis and neuropathic pains.

  7. Cannabinoids Inhibit Insulin Receptor Signaling in Pancreatic β-Cells

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Wook; Doyle, Máire E.; Liu, Zhuo; Lao, Qizong; Shin, Yu-Kyong; Carlson, Olga D.; Kim, Hee Seung; Thomas, Sam; Napora, Joshua K.; Lee, Eun Kyung; Moaddel, Ruin; Wang, Yan; Maudsley, Stuart; Martin, Bronwen; Kulkarni, Rohit N.; Egan, Josephine M.

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Optimal glucose homeostasis requires exquisitely precise adaptation of the number of insulin-secreting β-cells in the islets of Langerhans. Insulin itself positively regulates β-cell proliferation in an autocrine manner through the insulin receptor (IR) signaling pathway. It is now coming to light that cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1R) agonism/antagonism influences insulin action in insulin-sensitive tissues. However, the cells on which the CB1Rs are expressed and their function in islets have not been firmly established. We undertook the current study to investigate if intraislet endogenous cannabinoids (ECs) regulate β-cell proliferation and if they influence insulin action. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We measured EC production in isolated human and mouse islets and β-cell line in response to glucose and KCl. We evaluated human and mouse islets, several β-cell lines, and CB1R-null (CB1R−/−) mice for the presence of a fully functioning EC system. We investigated if ECs influence β-cell physiology through regulating insulin action and demonstrated the therapeutic potential of manipulation of the EC system in diabetic (db/db) mice. RESULTS ECs are generated within β-cells, which also express CB1Rs that are fully functioning when activated by ligands. Genetic and pharmacologic blockade of CB1R results in enhanced IR signaling through the insulin receptor substrate 2-AKT pathway in β-cells and leads to increased β-cell proliferation and mass. CB1R antagonism in db/db mice results in reduced blood glucose and increased β-cell proliferation and mass, coupled with enhanced IR signaling in β-cells. Furthermore, CB1R activation impedes insulin-stimulated IR autophosphorylation on β-cells in a Gαi-dependent manner. CONCLUSIONS These findings provide direct evidence for a functional interaction between CB1R and IR signaling involved in the regulation of β-cell proliferation and will serve as a basis for developing new therapeutic interventions to

  8. Inhibitory effect of salvinorin A, from Salvia divinorum, on ileitis-induced hypermotility: cross-talk between κ-opioid and cannabinoid CB1 receptors

    PubMed Central

    Capasso, R; Borrelli, F; Cascio, M G; Aviello, G; Huben, K; Zjawiony, J K; Marini, P; Romano, B; Di Marzo, V; Capasso, F; Izzo, A A

    2008-01-01

    Background and purpose: Salvinorin A, the active component of the hallucinogenic herb Salvia divinorum, inhibits intestinal motility through activation of κ-opioid receptors (KORs). However, this compound may have target(s) other than the KORs in the inflamed gut. Because intestinal inflammation upregulates cannabinoid receptors and endogenous cannabinoids, in the present study we investigated the possible involvement of the endogenous cannabinoid system in salvinorin A-induced delay in motility in the inflamed gut. Experimental approach: Motility in vivo was measured by evaluating the distribution of a fluorescent marker along the small intestine; intestinal inflammation was induced by the irritant croton oil; direct or indirect activity at cannabinoid receptors was evaluated by means of binding, enzymic and cellular uptake assays. Key results: Salvinorin A as well as the KOR agonist U-50488 reduced motility in croton oil treated mice. The inhibitory effect of both salvinorin A and U-50488 was counteracted by the KOR antagonist nor-binaltorphimine and by the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant. Rimonabant, however, did not counteract the inhibitory effect of salvinorin A on motility in control mice. Binding experiments showed very weak affinity of salvinorin A for cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 and no inhibitory effect on 2-arachidonoylglycerol and anandamide hydrolysis and cellular uptake. Conclusions and implications: The inhibitory effect of salvinorin A on motility reveals a functional interaction between cannabinoid CB1 receptors and KORs in the inflamed—but not in the normal—gut in vivo. PMID:18622408

  9. Receptors and Channels Targeted by Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists and Antagonists

    PubMed Central

    Pertwee, R.G.

    2010-01-01

    It is widely accepted that non-endogenous compounds that target CB1 and/or CB2 receptors possess therapeutic potential for the clinical management of an ever growing number of disorders. Just a few of these disorders are already treated with Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol or nabilone, both CB1/CB2 receptor agonists, and there is now considerable interest in expanding the clinical applications of such agonists and also in exploiting CB2-selective agonists, peripherally restricted CB1/CB2 receptor agonists and CB1/CB2 antagonists and inverse agonists as medicines. Already, numerous cannabinoid receptor ligands have been developed and their interactions with CB1 and CB2 receptors well characterized. This review describes what is currently known about the ability of such compounds to bind to, activate, inhibit or block non-CB1, non-CB2 G protein-coupled receptors such as GPR55, transmitter gated channels, ion channels and nuclear receptors in an orthosteric or allosteric manner. It begins with a brief description of how each of these ligands interacts with CB1 and/or CB2 receptors. PMID:20166927

  10. Basolateral amygdala CB1 cannabinoid receptors mediate nicotine-induced place preference.

    PubMed

    Hashemizadeh, Shiva; Sardari, Maryam; Rezayof, Ameneh

    2014-06-03

    In the present study, the effects of bilateral microinjections of cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist and antagonist into the basolateral amygdala (intra-BLA) on nicotine-induced place preference were examined in rats. A conditioned place preference (CPP) apparatus was used for the assessment of rewarding effects of the drugs in adult male Wistar rats. Subcutaneous (s.c.) administration of nicotine (0.2mg/kg) induced a significant CPP, without any effect on the locomotor activity during the testing phase. Intra-BLA microinjection of a non-selective cannabinoid CB1/CB2 receptor agonist, WIN 55,212-2 (0.1-0.5 μg/rat) with an ineffective dose of nicotine (0.1mg/kg, s.c.) induced a significant place preference. On the other hand, intra-BLA administration of AM251 (20-60 ng/rat), a selective cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist inhibited the acquisition of nicotine-induced place preference. It should be considered that the microinjection of the same doses of WIN 55,212-2 or AM251 into the BLA, by itself had no effect on the CPP score. The administration of a higher dose of AM251 (60 ng/rat) during the acquisition decreased the locomotor activity of animals on the testing phase. Interestingly, the microinjection of AM251 (20 and 40 ng/rat), but not WIN55,212-2 (0.1-0.5 μg/rat), into the BLA inhibited the expression of nicotine-induced place preference without any effect on the locomotor activity. Taken together, these findings support the possible role of endogenous cannabinoid system of the BLA in the acquisition and the expression of nicotine-induced place preference. Furthermore, it seems that there is a functional interaction between the BLA cannabinoid receptors and nicotine in producing the rewarding effects.

  11. Cannabinoid 2 receptor- and beta Arrestin 2-dependent upregulation of serotonin 2A receptors.

    PubMed

    Franklin, J M; Vasiljevik, T; Prisinzano, T E; Carrasco, G A

    2013-07-01

    Recent evidence suggests that cannabinoid receptor agonists may regulate serotonin 2A (5-HT(2A)) receptor neurotransmission in the brain, although no molecular mechanism has been identified. Here, we present experimental evidence that sustained treatment with a non-selective cannabinoid agonist (CP55,940) or selective CB2 receptor agonists (JWH133 or GP1a) upregulate 5-HT(2A) receptors in a neuronal cell line. Furthermore, this cannabinoid receptor agonist-induced upregulation of 5-HT(2A) receptors was prevented in cells stably transfected with either CB2 or β-Arrestin 2 shRNA lentiviral particles. Additionally, inhibition of clathrin-mediated endocytosis also prevented the cannabinoid receptor-induced upregulation of 5-HT(2A) receptors. Our results indicate that cannabinoid agonists might upregulate 5-HT(2A) receptors by a mechanism that requires CB2 receptors and β-Arrestin 2 in cells that express both CB2 and 5-HT(2A) receptors. 5-HT(2A) receptors have been associated with several physiological functions and neuropsychiatric disorders such as stress response, anxiety and depression, and schizophrenia. Therefore, these results might provide a molecular mechanism by which activation of cannabinoid receptors might be relevant to some cognitive and mood disorders in humans.

  12. Endothelial atypical cannabinoid receptor: do we have enough evidence?

    PubMed

    Bondarenko, Alexander I

    2014-12-01

    Cannabinoids and their synthetic analogues affect a broad range of physiological functions, including cardiovascular variables. Although direct evidence is still missing, the relaxation of a vast range of vascular beds induced by cannabinoids is believed to involve a still unidentified non-CB1 , non-CB2 Gi/o protein-coupled receptor located on endothelial cells, the so called endothelial cannabinoid receptor (eCB receptor). Evidence for the presence of an eCB receptor comes mainly from vascular relaxation studies, which commonly employ pertussis toxin as an indicator for GPCR-mediated signalling. In addition, a pharmacological approach is widely used to attribute the relaxation to eCB receptors. Recent findings have indicated a number of GPCR-independent targets for both agonists and antagonists of the presumed eCB receptor, warranting further investigations and cautious interpretation of the vascular relaxation studies. This review will provide a brief historical overview on the proposed novel eCB receptor, drawing attention to the discrepancies between the studies on the pharmacological profile of the eCB receptor and highlighting the Gi/o protein-independent actions of the eCB receptor inhibitors widely used as selective compounds. As the eCB receptor represents an attractive pharmacological target for a number of cardiovascular abnormalities, defining its molecular identity and the extent of its regulation of vascular function will have important implications for drug discovery. This review highlights the need to re-evaluate this subject in a thoughtful and rigorous fashion. More studies are needed to differentiate Gi/o protein-dependent endothelial cannabinoid signalling from that involving the classical CB1 and CB2 receptors as well as its relevance for pathophysiological conditions. © 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.

  13. Activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase/PKB pathway by CB(1) and CB(2) cannabinoid receptors expressed in prostate PC-3 cells. Involvement in Raf-1 stimulation and NGF induction.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, María G; Ruiz-Llorente, Lidia; Sánchez, Ana M; Díaz-Laviada, Inés

    2003-09-01

    Cannabinoids exert a variety of physiological and pharmacological responses in humans through interaction with specific cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid receptors described to date belong to the seven-transmembrane-domain receptor superfamily and are coupled through the inhibitory G(i) protein to adenylyl cyclase inhibition. However, downstream signal transduction mechanisms triggered by cannabinoids are poorly understood. We examined here the involvement of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/PKB pathway in the mechanism of action of cannabinoids in human prostate epithelial PC-3 cells. Cannabinoid receptors CB(1) and CB(2) are expressed in these cells, as shown by RT-PCR, Western blot and immunofluorescence techniques. Treatment of PC-3 cells with either Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, or R-(+)-methanandamide (MET), an analogue of the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide, increased phosphorylation of PKB in Thr308 and Ser473. The stimulation of PKB induced by cannabinoids was blocked by the two cannabinoid receptor antagonists, SR 141716 and SR 144528, and by the PI3K inhibitor LY 294002. These results indicate that activation of cannabinoid receptors in PC-3 cells stimulate the PI3K/PKB pathway. We further investigated the involvement of Raf-1/Erk activation in the mechanism of action of cannabinoid receptors. THC and MET induced translocation of Raf-1 to the membrane and phosphorylation of p44/42 Erk kinase, which was reversed by cannabinoid receptor antagonists and PI3K inhibitor. These results point to a sequential connection between cannabinoid receptors/PI3K/PKB pathway and Raf-1/Erk in prostate PC-3 cells. We also show that this pathway is involved in the mechanism of NGF induction exerted by cannabinoids in PC-3 cells.

  14. Expression of human peripheral cannabinoid receptor for structural studies

    PubMed Central

    Yeliseev, Alexei A.; Wong, Karen K.; Soubias, Olivier; Gawrisch, Klaus

    2005-01-01

    Human peripheral-type cannabinoid receptor (CB2) was expressed in Escherichia coli as a fusion with the maltose-binding protein, thioredoxin, and a deca-histidine tag. Functional activity and structural integrity of the receptor in bacterial protoplast membranes was confirmed by extensive binding studies with a variety of natural and synthetic cannabinoid ligands. E. coli membranes expressing CB2 also activated cognate G-proteins in an in vitro coupled assay. Detergent-solubilized receptor was purified to 80%–90% homogeneity by affinity chromatography followed by ion-exchange chromatography. By high-resolution NMR on the receptor in DPC micelles, it was determined that purified CB2 forms 1:1 complexes with the ligands CP-55,940 and anandamide. The receptor was successfully reconstituted into phosphatidylcholine bilayers and the membranes were deposited into a porous substrate as tubular lipid bilayers for structural studies by NMR and scattering techniques. PMID:16195551

  15. Adenosine–cannabinoid receptor interactions. Implications for striatal function

    PubMed Central

    Ferré, Sergi; Lluís, Carme; Justinova, Zuzana; Quiroz, César; Orru, Marco; Navarro, Gemma; Canela, Enric I; Franco, Rafael; Goldberg, Steven R

    2010-01-01

    Adenosine and endocannabinoids are very ubiquitous non-classical neurotransmitters that exert a modulatory role on the transmission of other more ‘classical’ neurotransmitters. In this review we will focus on their common role as modulators of dopamine and glutamate neurotransmission in the striatum, the main input structure of the basal ganglia. We will pay particular attention to the role of adenosine A2A receptors and cannabinoid CB1 receptors. Experimental results suggest that presynaptic CB1 receptors interacting with A2A receptors in cortico-striatal glutamatergic terminals that make synaptic contact with dynorphinergic medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs) are involved in the motor-depressant and addictive effects of cannabinoids. On the other hand, postsynaptic CB1 receptors interacting with A2A and D2 receptors in the dendritic spines of enkephalinergic MSNs and postsynaptic CB1 receptors in the dendritic spines of dynorphinergic MSN are probably involved in the cataleptogenic effects of cannabinoids. These receptor interactions most probably depend on the existence of a variety of heteromers of A2A, CB1 and D2 receptors in different elements of striatal spine modules. Drugs selective for the different striatal A2A and CB1 receptor heteromers could be used for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders and drug addiction and they could provide effective drugs with fewer side effects than currently used drugs. This article is part of a themed issue on Cannabinoids. To view the editorial for this themed issue visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.00831.x PMID:20590556

  16. Modulation of the cannabinoid receptors by hemopressin peptides

    PubMed Central

    Bomar, Martha G.

    2012-01-01

    Changes in the endocannabinoid system are implicated in numerous diseases, making it an attractive target for pharmaceutical development. The endocannabinoid receptors have traditionally been thought to act through the effects of lipophilic messengers called cannabinoids. The exciting finding of endocannabinoid system modulation by the nonapeptide hemopressin and its N-terminal extensions has highlighted the complexity of cannabinoid biology and pharmacology and sparked interest for therapeutic purposes. However, many questions surrounding the generation and regulation of the hemopressin peptides, the self-assembly of hemopressin and the potential for drug development based on hemopressin remain and are discussed in this review. PMID:22884803

  17. Cannabinoid Receptors: A Novel Target for Therapy for Prostate Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-02-01

    cannabinoids could used in the management of prostate cancer. Table of Contents Background.…………………………………………………………….…………4-5 Body ...whether cannabinoid receptors could prove to be useful targets for the treatment of prostate cancer. Body Specific Aims: The following specific...stream of the host. WIN-55,212-2 treatment did not cause any loss in the body weight, food intake, or exhibited apparent signs of toxicity in animals

  18. The agonists for nociceptors are ubiquitous, but the modulators are specific: P2X receptors in the sensory neurons are modulated by cannabinoids.

    PubMed

    Krishtal, O; Lozovaya, N; Fedorenko, A; Savelyev, I; Chizhmakov, I

    2006-12-01

    P2X2 and P2X3 receptors expressed in mammalian sensory neurons participate in nociception. Cannabinoid receptors modulate nociceptive processing in various models of pain. They are also expressed in nociceptive sensory neurons. We have examined the effect of cannabinoids on the slow P2X2 and P2X2/3 receptors in the cells isolated from nodosal and dorsal root ganglia of rat. The study was carried out by means of the whole-cell patch clamp and rapid superfusion methods. We have found that both endogenous and synthetic cannabinoids (anandamide, WIN55,212-2, and (R)-(+)-methanandamide) inhibit the slow response to ATP mediated by P2X2 and P2X2/3 receptors in a majority of tested neurons. This inhibition was significant but only partial: anandamide (0.5-1 microM) inhibited the response to 51+/-21% of control. In the remaining minority of tested neurons, the response was transiently facilitated. The effect of cannabinoids appears to be mediated via cannabinoid CB(1) receptors: it was reversibly inhibited by selective CB(1) antagonist, SR141716A (10 microM). Introduction of cyclic AMP (0.5 mM) into the cell potently facilitated the inhibitory effect of cannabinoids: the ATP-activated current was inhibited to 13+/-10% of control. These data indicate that cannabinoids may inhibit nociceptive responses produced by P2X receptors.

  19. Cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 Receptor Signaling and Bias

    PubMed Central

    Ibsen, Mikkel Søes; Connor, Mark; Glass, Michelle

    2017-01-01

    Abstract An agonist that acts through a single receptor can activate numerous signaling pathways. Recent studies have suggested that different ligands can differentially activate these pathways by stabilizing a limited range of receptor conformations, which in turn preferentially drive different downstream signaling cascades. This concept, termed “biased signaling” represents an exciting therapeutic opportunity to target specific pathways that elicit only desired effects, while avoiding undesired effects mediated by different signaling cascades. The cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 each activate multiple pathways, and evidence is emerging for bias within these pathways. This review will summarize the current evidence for biased signaling through cannabinoid receptor subtypes CB1 and CB2. PMID:28861504

  20. The cannabinoid receptor 1 associates with NMDA receptors to produce glutamatergic hypofunction: implications in psychosis and schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Blázquez, Pilar; Rodríguez-Muñoz, María; Garzón, Javier

    2014-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system is widespread throughout the central nervous system and its type 1 receptor (CB1) plays a crucial role in preventing the neurotoxicity caused by activation of glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs). Indeed, it is the activity of NMDARs themselves that provides the demands on the endogenous cannabinoids in order to control their calcium currents. Therefore, a physiological role of this system is to maintain NMDAR activity within safe limits, thereby protecting neural cells from excitotoxicity. Thus, cannabinoids may be able to control NMDAR overactivation-related neural dysfunctions; however, the major obstacles to the therapeutic utilization of these compounds are their psychotropic effects and negative influence on cognitive performance. Studies in humans have indicated that abuse of smoked cannabis can promote psychosis and even circumstantially precipitate symptoms of schizophrenia, although the latter appears to require a prior vulnerability in the individual. It is possible that cannabinoids provoke psychosis/schizophrenia reflecting a mechanism common to neuroprotection: the reduction of NMDAR activity. Cannabinoids are proposed to produce such effect by reducing the pre-synaptic release of glutamate or interfering with post-synaptic NMDAR-regulated signaling pathways. The efficacy of such control requires the endocannabinoid system to apply its negative influence in a manner that is proportional to the strength of NMDAR signaling. Thus, cannabinoids acting at the wrong time or exerting an inappropriate influence on their receptors may cause NMDAR hypofunction. The purpose of the present review is to draw the attention of the reader to the newly described functional and physical CB1–NMDAR association, which may elucidate the scenario required for the rapid and efficacious control of NMDAR activity. Whether alterations in these mechanisms may increase NMDAR hypofunction leading to vulnerability to schizophrenia will be

  1. Endocannabinoid release from midbrain dopamine neurons: a potential substrate for cannabinoid receptor antagonist treatment of addiction.

    PubMed

    Lupica, Carl R; Riegel, Arthur C

    2005-06-01

    Substantial evidence suggests that all commonly abused drugs act upon the brain reward circuitry to ultimately increase extracellular concentrations of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the nucleus accumbens and other forebrain areas. Many drugs of abuse appear to increase dopamine levels by dramatically increase the firing and bursting rates of dopamine neurons located in the ventral mesencephalon. Recent clinical evidence in humans and behavioral evidence in animals indicate that cannabinoid receptor antagonists such as SR141716A (Rimonabant) can reduce the self-administration of, and craving for, several commonly addictive drugs. However, the mechanism of this potentially beneficial effect has not yet been identified. We propose, on the basis of recent studies in our laboratory and others, that these antagonists may act by blocking the effects of endogenously released cannabinoid molecules (endocannabinoids) that are released in an activity- and calcium-dependent manner from mesencephalic dopamine neurons. It is hypothesized that, through the antagonism of cannabinoid CB1 receptors located on inhibitory and excitatory axon terminals targeting the midbrain dopamine neurons, the effects of the endocannabinoids are occluded. The data from these studies therefore suggest that the endocannabinoid system and the CB1 receptors located in the ventral mesencephalon may play an important role in regulating drug reward processes, and that this substrate is recruited whenever dopamine neuron activity is increased.

  2. Genetic variability in the human cannabinoid receptor 1 is associated with resting state EEG theta power in humans.

    PubMed

    Heitland, I; Kenemans, J L; Böcker, K B E; Baas, J M P

    2014-11-01

    It has long been postulated that exogenous cannabinoids have a profound effect on human cognitive functioning. These cannabinoid effects are thought to depend, at least in parts, on alterations of phase-locking of local field potential neuronal firing. The latter can be measured as activity in the theta frequency band (4-7Hz) by electroencephalogram. Theta oscillations are supposed to serve as a mechanism in neural representations of behaviorally relevant information. However, it remains unknown whether variability in endogenous cannabinoid activity is involved in theta rhythms and therefore, may serve as an individual differences index of human cognitive functioning. To clarify this issue, we recorded resting state EEG activity in 164 healthy human subjects and extracted EEG power across frequency bands (δ, θ, α, and β). To assess variability in the endocannabinoid system, two genetic polymorphisms (rs1049353, rs2180619) within the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) were determined in all participants. As expected, we observed significant effects of rs1049353 on EEG power in the theta band at frontal, central and parietal electrode regions. Crucially, these effects were specific for the theta band, with no effects on activity in the other frequency bands. Rs2180619 showed no significant associations with theta power after Bonferroni correction. Taken together, we provide novel evidence in humans showing that genetic variability in the cannabinoid receptor 1 is associated with resting state EEG power in the theta frequency band. This extends prior findings of exogenous cannabinoid effects on theta power to the endogenous cannabinoid system. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Cannabinoid receptor-independent cytotoxic effects of cannabinoids in human colorectal carcinoma cells: synergism with 5-fluorouracil.

    PubMed

    Gustafsson, Sofia B; Lindgren, Theres; Jonsson, Maria; Jacobsson, Stig O P

    2009-03-01

    Cannabinoids (CBs) have been found to exert antiproliferative effects upon a variety of cancer cells, including colorectal carcinoma cells. However, little is known about the signalling mechanisms behind the antitumoural effect in these cells, whether the effects are shared by endogenous lipids related to endocannabinoids, or whether such effects are synergistic with treatment paradigms currently used in the clinic. The aim of this preclinical study was to investigate the effect of synthetic and endogenous CBs and their related fatty acids on the viability of human colorectal carcinoma Caco-2 cells, and to determine whether CB effects are synergistic with those seen with the pyrimidine antagonist 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). The synthetic CB HU 210, the endogenous CB anandamide, the endogenous structural analogue of anandamide, N-arachidonoyl glycine (NAGly), as well as the related polyunsaturated fatty acids arachidonic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid showed antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects in the Caco-2 cells, as measured by using [(3)H]-thymidine incorporation assay, the CyQUANT proliferation assay and calcein-AM fluorescence. HU 210 was the most potent compound examined, followed by anandamide, whereas NAGly showed equal potency and efficacy as the polyunsaturated fatty acids. Furthermore, HU 210 and 5-FU produced synergistic effects in the Caco-2 cells, but not in the human colorectal carcinoma cell lines HCT116 or HT29. The compounds examined produced cytotoxic, rather than antiproliferative effects, by a mechanism not involving CB receptors, since the CB receptor antagonists AM251 and AM630 did not attenuate the effects, nor did pertussis toxin. However, alpha-tocopherol and the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor L-NAME attenuated the CB toxicity, suggesting involvement of oxidative stress. It is concluded that the CB system may provide new targets for the development of drugs to treat colorectal cancer.

  4. Type 1 Cannabinoid Receptor Ligands Display Functional Selectivity in a Cell Culture Model of Striatal Medium Spiny Projection Neurons*

    PubMed Central

    Laprairie, Robert B.; Bagher, Amina M.; Kelly, Melanie E. M.; Dupré, Denis J.; Denovan-Wright, Eileen M.

    2014-01-01

    Modulation of type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) activity has been touted as a potential means of treating addiction, anxiety, depression, and neurodegeneration. Different agonists of CB1 are known to evoke varied responses in vivo. Functional selectivity is the ligand-specific activation of certain signal transduction pathways at a receptor that can signal through multiple pathways. To understand cannabinoid-specific functional selectivity, different groups have examined the effect of individual cannabinoids on various signaling pathways in heterologous expression systems. In the current study, we compared the functional selectivity of six cannabinoids, including two endocannabinoids (2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA)), two synthetic cannabinoids (WIN55,212-2 and CP55,940), and two phytocannabinoids (cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)) on arrestin2-, Gαi/o-, Gβγ-, Gαs-, and Gαq-mediated intracellular signaling in the mouse STHdhQ7/Q7 cell culture model of striatal medium spiny projection neurons that endogenously express CB1. In this system, 2-AG, THC, and CP55,940 were more potent mediators of arrestin2 recruitment than other cannabinoids tested. 2-AG, AEA, and WIN55,212-2, enhanced Gαi/o and Gβγ signaling, with 2-AG and AEA treatment leading to increased total CB1 levels. 2-AG, AEA, THC, and WIN55,212-2 also activated Gαq-dependent pathways. CP55,940 and CBD both signaled through Gαs. CP55,940, but not CBD, activated downstream Gαs pathways via CB1 targets. THC and CP55,940 promoted CB1 internalization and decreased CB1 protein levels over an 18-h period. These data demonstrate that individual cannabinoids display functional selectivity at CB1 leading to activation of distinct signaling pathways. To effectively match cannabinoids with therapeutic goals, these compounds must be screened for their signaling bias. PMID:25037227

  5. C3-heteroaroyl cannabinoids as photolabeling ligands for the CB2 cannabinoid receptor.

    PubMed

    Dixon, Darryl D; Tius, Marcus A; Thakur, Ganesh A; Zhou, Han; Bowman, Anna L; Shukla, Vidyanand G; Peng, Yan; Makriyannis, Alexandros

    2012-08-15

    A series of tricyclic cannabinoids incorporating a heteroaroyl group at C3 were prepared as probes to explore the binding site(s) of the CB1 and CB2 receptors. This relatively unexplored structural motif is shown to be CB2 selective with K(i) values at low nanomolar concentrations when the heteroaromatic group is 3-benzothiophenyl (41) or 3-indolyl (50). When photoactivated, the lead compound 41 was shown to successfully label the CB2 receptor through covalent attachment at the active site while 50 failed to label. The benzothiophenone moiety may be a photoactivatable moiety suitable for selective labeling.

  6. Cannabinoids inhibit insulin secretion and cytosolic Ca2+ oscillation in islet beta-cells via CB1 receptors.

    PubMed

    Nakata, Masanori; Yada, Toshihiko

    2008-01-10

    Obesity is the main risk factor for the development of metabolic syndrome. Endogenous cannabinoids act on the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor, a GPCR, and stimulate appetite via central and peripheral actions, while blockade of CB1 receptor reduces body weight in humans. In this study, we aimed to explore a role of the peripheral endocannabinoid system in insulin secretion, which could be important in the metabolic effects of the cannabinoid-CB1 system. We found that mRNA for CB1 receptor, but not CB2 receptor, was expressed in mouse pancreatic islets using RT-PCR. Immunohistochemical study revealed that CB1 receptor was expressed in beta-cells. Furthermore, anandamide and a CB1 agonist, arachidonylcyclopropylamide (ACPA), inhibited glucose-induced insulin secretion from mouse pancreatic islets. Both anandamide and ACPA inhibited glucose-induced cytosolic Ca(2+) oscillation in mouse pancreatic beta-cells. These results demonstrate a novel peripheral action of cannabinoids to inhibit insulin secretion via CB1 receptors.

  7. Cannabinoid type 1 receptor: another arrow in the adipocytes' bow.

    PubMed

    Bellocchio, L; Cervino, C; Vicennati, V; Pasquali, R; Pagotto, U

    2008-05-01

    The endocannabinoid system has recently emerged as an important modulator of several functions of adipose tissue, including cell proliferation, differentiation and secretion. Here, we will review the effects of cannabinoid type 1 (CB(1)) receptor activation/blockade in adipocytes by summarising the data in the literature since the discovery of the presence of this receptor in adipose tissue. We will also discuss our original data obtained in mouse 3T3-L1 adipocyte cells using WIN55 212, a CB(1)/CB(2) receptor agonist and SR141716 (rimonabant), a specific CB(1) receptor antagonist, respectively, in different experimental settings.

  8. Inhibiting the breakdown of endogenous opioids and cannabinoids to alleviate pain.

    PubMed

    Roques, Bernard P; Fournié-Zaluski, Marie-Claude; Wurm, Michel

    2012-04-01

    Chronic pain remains unsatisfactorily treated, and few novel painkillers have reached the market in the past century. Increasing the levels of the main endogenous opioid peptides - enkephalins - by inhibiting their two inactivating ectopeptidases, neprilysin and aminopeptidase N, has analgesic effects in various models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Stemming from the same pharmacological concept, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitors have also been found to have analgesic effects in pain models by preventing the breakdown of endogenous cannabinoids. Dual enkephalinase inhibitors and FAAH inhibitors are now in early-stage clinical trials. In this Review, we compare the effects of these two potential classes of novel analgesics and describe the progress in their rational design. We also consider the challenges in their clinical development and opportunities for combination therapies.

  9. Recent advances in CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonists.

    PubMed

    Lange, Jos H M; Kruse, Chris G

    2004-07-01

    Cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonists are currently the subject of intensive research due to their highly promising therapeutic prospects. Novel chemical entities having CB1 antagonistic properties have recently been disclosed by several pharmaceutical companies and some academic research groups, some of which are close structural analogs of the leading compound rimonabant (SR-141716A; Sanofi-Synthélabo). A considerable number of these CB1 antagonists are bioisosteres that are derived from rimonabant by the replacement of the pyrazole moiety with an alternative heterocycle. As well as these achiral compounds, Solvay Pharmaceuticals have disclosed a novel class of chiral pyrazolines that are potent and CB1/CB2 subtype-selective cannabinoid receptor antagonists, in which the interactions with the CB1 receptor are highly stereoselective.

  10. Endogenous cannabinoid release within prefrontal-limbic pathways affects memory consolidation of emotional training.

    PubMed

    Morena, Maria; Roozendaal, Benno; Trezza, Viviana; Ratano, Patrizia; Peloso, Andrea; Hauer, Daniela; Atsak, Piray; Trabace, Luigia; Cuomo, Vincenzo; McGaugh, James L; Schelling, Gustav; Campolongo, Patrizia

    2014-12-23

    Previous studies have provided extensive evidence that administration of cannabinoid drugs after training modulates the consolidation of memory for an aversive experience. The present experiments investigated whether the memory consolidation is regulated by endogenously released cannabinoids. The experiments first examined whether the endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) are released by aversive training. Inhibitory avoidance training with higher footshock intensity produced increased levels of AEA in the amygdala, hippocampus, and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) shortly after training in comparison with levels assessed in rats trained with lower footshock intensity or unshocked controls exposed only to the training apparatus. In contrast, 2-AG levels were not significantly elevated. The additional finding that posttraining infusions of the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor URB597, which selectively increases AEA levels at active synapses, administered into the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA), hippocampus, or mPFC enhanced memory strongly suggests that the endogenously released AEA modulates memory consolidation. Moreover, in support of the view that this emotional training-associated increase in endocannabinoid neurotransmission, and its effects on memory enhancement, depends on the integrity of functional interactions between these different brain regions, we found that disruption of BLA activity blocked the training-induced increases in AEA levels as well as the memory enhancement produced by URB597 administered into the hippocampus or mPFC. Thus, the findings provide evidence that emotionally arousing training increases AEA levels within prefrontal-limbic circuits and strongly suggest that this cannabinoid activation regulates emotional arousal effects on memory consolidation.

  11. Endogenous cannabinoid release within prefrontal-limbic pathways affects memory consolidation of emotional training

    PubMed Central

    Morena, Maria; Roozendaal, Benno; Trezza, Viviana; Ratano, Patrizia; Peloso, Andrea; Hauer, Daniela; Atsak, Piray; Trabace, Luigia; Cuomo, Vincenzo; McGaugh, James L.; Schelling, Gustav; Campolongo, Patrizia

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have provided extensive evidence that administration of cannabinoid drugs after training modulates the consolidation of memory for an aversive experience. The present experiments investigated whether the memory consolidation is regulated by endogenously released cannabinoids. The experiments first examined whether the endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) are released by aversive training. Inhibitory avoidance training with higher footshock intensity produced increased levels of AEA in the amygdala, hippocampus, and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) shortly after training in comparison with levels assessed in rats trained with lower footshock intensity or unshocked controls exposed only to the training apparatus. In contrast, 2-AG levels were not significantly elevated. The additional finding that posttraining infusions of the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor URB597, which selectively increases AEA levels at active synapses, administered into the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA), hippocampus, or mPFC enhanced memory strongly suggests that the endogenously released AEA modulates memory consolidation. Moreover, in support of the view that this emotional training-associated increase in endocannabinoid neurotransmission, and its effects on memory enhancement, depends on the integrity of functional interactions between these different brain regions, we found that disruption of BLA activity blocked the training-induced increases in AEA levels as well as the memory enhancement produced by URB597 administered into the hippocampus or mPFC. Thus, the findings provide evidence that emotionally arousing training increases AEA levels within prefrontal-limbic circuits and strongly suggest that this cannabinoid activation regulates emotional arousal effects on memory consolidation. PMID:25489086

  12. Cannabinoid CB1 receptors mediate the effects of dipyrone.

    PubMed

    Crunfli, Fernanda; Vilela, Fabiana C; Giusti-Paiva, Alexandre

    2015-03-01

    Dipyrone is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug used primarily as an analgesic and antipyretic. Some hypothesize that dipyrone activity can modulate other pathways, including endocannabinoid signalling. Thus, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the possible role of endocannabinoids in mediating dipyrone activity. This study is based on the tetrad effects of cannabinoids, namely an antinociceptive and cataleptic state, hypolocomotion and hypothermia. Dipyrone (500 mg/kg, i.p.) treatment decreased locomotor activity, increased the latency to a thermal analgesic response and induced a cataleptic and hypothermic state. These reactions are similar to the tetrad effects caused by the cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 (3 mg/kg, i.p.). The cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist AM251 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) reversed the effects of dipyrone on locomotor activity, the cataleptic response and thermal analgesia. Both AM251 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) and the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) antagonist capsazepine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) accentuated the reduction in body temperature caused by dipyrone. However, the CB2 receptor antagonist AM630 did not alter the hypothermic response to dipyrone. These results indicate involvement of the endocannabinoid system, especially CB1 receptors, in the analgesic and cataleptic effects of dipyrone, as well as hypolocomotion. However, cannabinoid receptors and TRPV1 were not involved in the hypothermic effects of dipyrone. We hypothesize that the mechanism of action of dipyrone may involve inhibition of cyclo-oxygenase and fatty acid amide hydrolase, which together provide additional arachidonic acid as substrate for endocannabinoid synthesis or other related molecules. This increase in endocannabinoid availability enhances CB1 receptor stimulation, contributing to the observed effects. © 2014 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  13. Cannabinoid receptor agonists modulate calcium channels in rat retinal Müller cells.

    PubMed

    Yang, W; Li, Q; Wang, S-Y; Gao, F; Qian, W-J; Li, F; Ji, M; Sun, X-H; Miao, Y; Wang, Z

    2016-01-28

    While activation of cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) regulates a variety of retinal neuronal functions by modulating ion channels in these cells, effect of activated cannabinoid receptors on Ca(2+) channels in retinal Müller cells is still largely unknown. In the present work we show that three subunits of T-type Ca(2+) channels, CaV3.1, CaV3.2 and CaV3.3, as well as one subunit of L-type Ca(2+) channels, CaV1.2, were expressed in rat Müller cells by immunofluorescent staining. Consistently, nimodipine- and mibefradil-sensitive Na(+) currents through L- and T-type Ca(2+) channels could be recorded electrophysiologically. The cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55212-2 significantly suppressed Ca(2+) channel currents, mainly the T-type one, in acutely isolated rat Müller cells in a dose-dependent manner, with an IC50 of 3.98μM. The WIN55212-2 effect was not blocked by AM251/SR141716, specific CB1R antagonists. Similar suppression of the currents was observed when anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), endogenous ligands of cannabinoid receptors, were applied. Moreover, even though CB2 receptors (CB2Rs) were expressed in rat Müller cells, the effects of WIN55212-2 and 2-AG on Ca(2+) channel currents were not blocked by AM630, a selective CB2R antagonist. However, the effect of AEA could be partially rescued by AM630. These results suggest that WIN55212-2 and 2-AG receptor-independently suppressed the Ca(2+) channel currents in Müller cells, while AEA suppressed the currents partially through CB2Rs. The existence of receptor-dependent and -independent mechanisms suggests that cannabinoids may modulate Müller cell functions through multiple pathways. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Failure to extinguish fear and genetic variability in the human cannabinoid receptor 1.

    PubMed

    Heitland, I; Klumpers, F; Oosting, R S; Evers, D J J; Leon Kenemans, J; Baas, J M P

    2012-09-25

    Failure to extinguish fear can lead to persevering anxiety and has been postulated as an important mechanism in the pathogenesis of human anxiety disorders. In animals, it is well documented that the endogenous cannabinoid system has a pivotal role in the successful extinction of fear, most importantly through the cannabinoid receptor 1. However, no human studies have reported a translation of this preclinical evidence yet. Healthy medication-free human subjects (N=150) underwent a fear conditioning and extinction procedure in a virtual reality environment. Fear potentiation of the eyeblink startle reflex was measured to assess fear-conditioned responding, and subjective fear ratings were collected. Participants were genotyped for two polymorphisms located within the promoter region (rs2180619) and the coding region (rs1049353) of cannabinoid receptor 1. As predicted from the preclinical literature, acquisition and expression of conditioned fear did not differ between genotypes. Crucially, whereas both homozygote (G/G, N=23) and heterozygote (A/G, N=68) G-allele carriers of rs2180619 displayed robust extinction of fear, extinction of fear-potentiated startle was absent in A/A homozygotes (N=51). Additionally, this resistance to extinguish fear left A/A carriers of rs2180619 with significantly higher levels of fear-potentiated startle at the end of the extinction training. No effects of rs1049353 genotype were observed regarding fear acquisition and extinction. These results suggest for the first time involvement of the human endocannabinoid system in fear extinction. Implications are that genetic variability in this system may underlie individual differences in anxiety, rendering cannabinoid receptor 1 a potential target for novel pharmacological treatments of anxiety disorders.

  15. Coronary vasodilator effects of endogenous cannabinoids in vasopressin-preconstricted unpaced rat isolated hearts.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Jens A; Abesser, Marco; Karcher, Jan; Laser, Martin; Kunos, George

    2005-09-01

    The mechanisms by which cannabinoids alter coronary vascular tone and cardiac performance are controversial. We investigated the effects of various cannabinoids in spontaneously beating Langendorff-perfused rat hearts. Bolus injections of anandamide (0.1-1 micromol) caused no change in coronary flow (CF) or left ventricular systolic pressure (LVSP). In hearts preperfused with vasopressin to induce vasoconstrictor tone, anandamide or the selective CB1 receptor agonist ACEA (1-100 nmol) dose-dependently increased CF by up to 267% and LVSP by 20 mm Hg. The metabolically stable endocannabinoid derivatives, R-methanandamide and noladin ether, displayed similar effects. In contrast, Delta-THC (10-100 nmol), the major psychoactive ingredient of cannabis, strongly decreased CF and LVSP. The CB2 receptor agonist JWH-133 (10-100 nmol) elicited vasodilator and positive inotropic effects only at higher doses. The CB1 antagonists SR141716A and AM-251 as well as the potassium channel inhibitors tetraethylammonium and iberiotoxin blocked the anandamide-induced increases in CF and LVSP, whereas the CB2 antagonist SR144528 and the putative "CB3 antagonist" O-1918 did not have an inhibitory effect. Immunohistochemistry revealed the presence of cardiac CB1 but no CB2 receptors. Anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol were detected in heart tissue. However, combined application of fatty acid amidohydrolase inhibitors and the transport inhibitor AM-404 to augment tissue levels of endocannabinoids was without effect on CF or LVSP. We conclude that in the rat isolated heart with reestablished vasoconstrictor tone, cannabinoids including anandamide elicit coronary vasodilation and a secondary increase in contractility via CB1 receptors and potassium channels.

  16. Monoglyceride lipase deficiency causes desensitization of intestinal cannabinoid receptor type 1 and increased colonic μ-opioid receptor sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Taschler, U; Eichmann, T O; Radner, F P W; Grabner, G F; Wolinski, H; Storr, M; Lass, A; Schicho, R; Zimmermann, R

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose Monoglyceride lipase (MGL) degrades 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), an endogenous agonist of cannabinoid receptors (CB1/2). Because the CB1 receptor is involved in the control of gut function, we investigated the effects of pharmacological inhibition and genetic deletion of MGL on intestinal motility. Furthermore, we determined whether defective 2-AG degradation affects μ-opioid receptorreceptor) signalling, a parallel pathway regulating gut motility. Experimental Approach Gut motility was investigated by monitoring Evans Blue transit and colonic bead propulsion in response to MGL inhibition and CB1 receptor or μ receptor stimulation. Ileal contractility was investigated by electrical field stimulation. CB1 receptor expression in ileum and colon was assessed by immunohistochemical analyses. Key Results Pharmacological inhibition of MGL slowed down whole gut transit in a CB1 receptor-dependent manner. Conversely, genetic deletion of MGL did not affect gut transit despite increased 2-AG levels. Notably, MGL deficiency caused complete insensitivity to CB1 receptor agonist-mediated inhibition of whole gut transit and ileal contractility suggesting local desensitization of CB1 receptors. Accordingly, immunohistochemical analyses of myenteric ganglia of MGL-deficient mice revealed that CB1 receptors were trapped in endocytic vesicles. Finally, MGL-deficient mice displayed accelerated colonic propulsion and were hypersensitive to μ receptor agonist-mediated inhibition of colonic motility. This phenotype was reproduced by chronic pharmacological inhibition of MGL. Conclusion and Implications Constantly elevated 2-AG levels induce severe desensitization of intestinal CB1 receptors and increased sensitivity to μ receptor-mediated inhibition of colonic motility. These changes should be considered when cannabinoid-based drugs are used in the therapy of gastrointestinal diseases. PMID:26075589

  17. CB2 Cannabinoid Receptors as a Therapeutic Target—What Does the Future Hold?

    PubMed Central

    Dhopeshwarkar, Amey

    2014-01-01

    The past decades have seen an exponential rise in our understanding of the endocannabinoid system, comprising CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), and the enzymes that synthesize and degrade endocannabinoids. The primary focus of this review is the CB2 receptor. CB2 receptors have been the subject of considerable attention, primarily due to their promising therapeutic potential for treating various pathologies while avoiding the adverse psychotropic effects that can accompany CB1 receptor–based therapies. With the appreciation that CB2-selective ligands show marked functional selectivity, there is a renewed opportunity to explore this promising area of research from both a mechanistic as well as a therapeutic perspective. In this review, we summarize our present knowledge of CB2 receptor signaling, localization, and regulation. We discuss the availability of genetic tools (and their limitations) to study CB2 receptors and also provide an update on preclinical data on CB2 agonists in pain models. Finally, we suggest possible reasons for the failure of CB2 ligands in clinical pain trials and offer possible ways to move the field forward in a way that can help reconcile the inconsistencies between preclinical and clinical data. PMID:25106425

  18. Evaluation of Phytocannabinoids from High Potency Cannabis sativa using In Vitro Bioassays to Determine Structure-Activity Relationships for Cannabinoid Receptor 1 and Cannabinoid Receptor 2.

    PubMed

    Husni, Afeef S; McCurdy, Christopher R; Radwan, Mohamed M; Ahmed, Safwat A; Slade, Desmond; Ross, Samir A; ElSohly, Mahmoud A; Cutler, Stephen J

    2014-09-01

    Cannabis has been around for thousands of years and has been used recreationally, medicinally, and for fiber. Over 500 compounds have been isolated from Cannabis sativa with approximately 105 being cannabinoids. Of those 105 compounds, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol has been determined as the primary constituent, which is also responsible for the psychoactivity associated with Cannabis. Cannabinoid receptors belong to the large superfamily of G protein-coupled receptors. Targeting the cannabinoid receptors has the potential to treat a variety of conditions such as pain, neurodegeneration, appetite, immune function, anxiety, cancer, and others. Developing in vitro bioassays to determine binding and functional activity of compounds has the ability to lead researchers to develop a safe and effective drug that may target the cannabinoid receptors. Using radioligand binding and functional bioassays, a structure-activity relationship for major and minor cannabinoids was developed.

  19. Persistently active cannabinoid receptors mute a subpopulation of hippocampal interneurons.

    PubMed

    Losonczy, Attila; Biró, Agota A; Nusser, Zoltan

    2004-02-03

    Cortical information processing requires an orchestrated interaction between a large number of pyramidal cells and albeit fewer, but highly diverse GABAergic interneurons (INs). The diversity of INs is thought to reflect functional and structural specializations evolved to control distinct network operations. Consequently, specific cortical functions may be selectively modified by altering the input-output relationship of unique IN populations. Here, we report that persistently active cannabinoid receptors, the site of action of endocannabinoids, and the psychostimulants marijuana and hashish, switch off the output (mute) of a unique class of hippocampal INs. In paired recordings between cholecystokinin-immunopositive, mossy fiber-associated INs, and their target CA3 pyramidal cells, no postsynaptic currents could be evoked with single presynaptic action potentials or with repetitive stimulations at frequencies <25 Hz. Cannabinoid receptor antagonists converted these "mute" synapses into high-fidelity ones. The selective muting of specific GABAergic INs, achieved by persistent presynaptic cannabinoid receptor activation, provides a state-dependent switch in cortical networks.

  20. Evaluation of the neuroprotective effect of cannabinoids in a rat model of Parkinson's disease: importance of antioxidant and cannabinoid receptor-independent properties.

    PubMed

    García-Arencibia, Moisés; González, Sara; de Lago, Eva; Ramos, José A; Mechoulam, Raphael; Fernández-Ruiz, Javier

    2007-02-23

    , a key enzyme in endogenous defenses against oxidative stress. In summary, our results indicate that those cannabinoids having antioxidant cannabinoid receptor-independent properties provide neuroprotection against the progressive degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons occurring in PD. In addition, the activation of CB2 (but not CB1) receptors, or other additional mechanisms, might also contribute to some extent to the potential of cannabinoids in this disease.

  1. Cannabinoid-receptor-independent cell signalling by N-acylethanolamines.

    PubMed Central

    Berdyshev, E V; Schmid, P C; Krebsbach, R J; Hillard, C J; Huang, C; Chen, N; Dong, Z; Schmid, H H

    2001-01-01

    Anandamide and other polyunsaturated N-acylethanolamines (NAEs) exert biological activity by binding to cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are linked to G(i/o) proteins and their activation leads to extracellular-signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP kinase) activation, inhibition of cAMP-dependent signalling and complex changes in the expression of various genes. Saturated and monounsaturated NAEs cannot bind to cannabinoid receptors and may thus mediate cell signalling through other targets. Here we report that both saturated/monounsaturated NAEs and anandamide (20:4(n-6) NAE) stimulate cannabinoid-receptor-independent ERK phosphorylation and activator protein-1 (AP-1)-dependent transcriptional activity in mouse epidermal JB6 cells. Using a clone of JB6 P(+) cells with an AP-1 collagen-luciferase reporter construct, we found that 16:0, 18:1(n-9), 18:1(n-7), 18:2(n-6) and 20:4(n-6) NAEs stimulated AP-1-dependent transcriptional activity up to 2-fold, with maximal stimulation at approx. 10-15 microM. Higher NAE concentrations had toxic effects mediated by alterations in mitochondrial energy metabolism. The AP-1 stimulation appeared to be mediated by ERK but not JNK or p38 signalling pathways, because all NAEs stimulated ERK1/ERK2 phosphorylation without having any effect on JNK or p38 kinases. Also, overexpression of dominant negative ERK1/ERK2 kinases completely abolished NAE-induced AP-1 activation. In contrast with 18:1(n-9) NAE and anandamide, the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN 55,212-2 did not stimulate AP-1 activity and inhibited ERK phosphorylation. The NAE-mediated effects were not attenuated by pertussis toxin and appeared to be NAE-specific, as a close structural analogue, oleyl alcohol, failed to induce ERK phosphorylation. The data support our hypothesis that the major saturated and monounsaturated NAEs are signalling molecules acting through intracellular targets without

  2. Evidence that 2-arachidonoylglycerol but not N-palmitoylethanolamine or anandamide is the physiological ligand for the cannabinoid CB2 receptor. Comparison of the agonistic activities of various cannabinoid receptor ligands in HL-60 cells.

    PubMed

    Sugiura, T; Kondo, S; Kishimoto, S; Miyashita, T; Nakane, S; Kodaka, T; Suhara, Y; Takayama, H; Waku, K

    2000-01-07

    We examined the effect of 2-arachidonoylglycerol, an endogenous cannabinoid receptor ligand, on the intracellular free Ca(2+) concentrations in HL-60 cells that express the cannabinoid CB2 receptor. We found that 2-arachidonoylglycerol induces a rapid transient increase in intracellular free Ca(2+) concentrations in HL-60 cells. The response was affected by neither cyclooxygenase inhibitors nor lipoxygenase inhibitors, suggesting that arachidonic acid metabolites are not involved. Consistent with this notion, free arachidonic acid was devoid of any agonistic activity. Importantly, the Ca(2+) transient induced by 2-arachidonoylglycerol was blocked by pretreatment of the cells with SR144528, a CB2 receptor-specific antagonist, but not with SR141716A, a CB1 receptor-specific antagonist, indicating the involvement of the CB2 receptor but not the CB1 receptor in this cellular response. G(i) or G(o) is also assumed to be involved, because pertussis toxin treatment of the cells abolished the response. We further examined the structure-activity relationship. We found that 2-arachidonoylglycerol is the most potent compound among a number of naturally occurring cannabimimetic molecules. Interestingly, anandamide and N-palmitoylethanolamine, other putative endogenous ligands, were found to be a weak partial agonist and an inactive ligand, respectively. These results strongly suggest that the CB2 receptor is originally a 2-arachidonoylglycerol receptor, and 2-arachidonoylglycerol is the intrinsic natural ligand for the CB2 receptor that is abundant in the immune system.

  3. A peripheral mechanism for CB1 cannabinoid receptor-dependent modulation of feeding.

    PubMed

    Gómez, Raquel; Navarro, Miguel; Ferrer, Belén; Trigo, José M; Bilbao, Ainhoa; Del Arco, Ignacio; Cippitelli, Andrea; Nava, Felice; Piomelli, Daniele; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando

    2002-11-01

    Recent studies suggest that the endocannabinoid system modulates feeding. Despite the existence of central mechanisms for the regulation of food intake by endocannabinoids, evidence indicates that peripheral mechanisms may also exist. To test this hypothesis, we investigated (1) the effects of feeding on intestinal anandamide accumulation; (2) the effects of central (intracerebroventricular) and peripheral (intraperitoneal) administration of the endocannabinoid agonist anandamide, the synthetic cannabinoid agonist R-(+)-(2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-[(4-morpholinyl)methyl]pyrol[1,2,3-de]-1,4-benzoxazin-6-yl)(1-naphthalenyl) methanone monomethanesulfonate (WIN55,212-2), and the CB1-selective antagonist N-piperidino-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methylpyrazole-3-carboxamide (SR141716A) on food intake in rats; and (3) the effects of sensory deafferentation on the modulation of feeding by cannabinoids. Food deprivation produced a sevenfold increase in anandamide content in the small intestine but not in the brain or stomach. Refeeding normalized intestinal anandamide levels. Peripheral but not central administration of anandamide or WIN55,212-2 promoted hyperphagia in partially satiated rats. Similarly, peripheral but not central administration of SR141716A reduced food intake. Capsaicin deafferentation abolished the peripheral effects of both cannabinoid agonists and antagonists, suggesting that these agents modulate food intake by acting on CB1 receptors located on capsaicin-sensitive sensory terminals. Oleoylethanolamide, a noncannabinoid fatty ethanolamide that acts peripherally, prevented hyperphagia induced by the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide. Pretreatment with SR141716A enhanced the inhibition of feeding induced by intraperitoneal administration of oleoylethanolamide. The results reveal an unexpected role for peripheral CB1 receptors in the regulation of feeding.

  4. Lack of CB1 cannabinoid receptors modifies nicotine behavioural responses, but not nicotine abstinence.

    PubMed

    Castañé, A; Valjent, E; Ledent, C; Parmentier, M; Maldonado, R; Valverde, O

    2002-10-01

    Cannabis is the most widely consumed illicit drug and its consumption is currently associated with tobacco, which contains another psychoactive compound, namely nicotine. Interactions between cannabinoids and other drugs of abuse, such as opioids, have been previously reported. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the possible role of CB1 cannabinoid receptor in responses induced by acute and repeated nicotine administration by using knockout mice lacking the CB1 cannabinoid receptor and their wild-type littermates. Acute nicotine (0.5, 1, 3 and 6 mg/kg, sc) administration decreased locomotor activity and induced antinociceptive responses in the tail-immersion and the hot-plate test, in wild-type animals. The antinociceptive effects in the tail-immersion test were significantly enhanced in CB1 knockout mice. In wild-type mice nicotine (0.5 mg/kg, sc) produced a significant rewarding effect, as measured by a conditioned place preference paradigm. This response was absent in CB1 knockout mice. Finally, a model of mecamylamine-induced abstinence in chronic nicotine-treated mice (10 mg/kg/day, sc) was developed. Mecamylamine (1 and 2 mg/kg, sc) precipitated several somatic signs of nicotine withdrawal in wild-type dependent mice. However, no difference in the severity of nicotine withdrawal was observed in CB1 knockout mice. These results demonstrate that some acute effects and motivational responses elicited by nicotine can be modulated by the endogenous cannabinoid system and support the existence of a physiological interaction between these two systems.

  5. A Lipid Pathway for Ligand Binding Is Necessary for a Cannabinoid G Protein-coupled Receptor*

    PubMed Central

    Hurst, Dow P.; Grossfield, Alan; Lynch, Diane L.; Feller, Scott; Romo, Tod D.; Gawrisch, Klaus; Pitman, Michael C.; Reggio, Patricia H.

    2010-01-01

    Recent isothiocyanate covalent labeling studies have suggested that a classical cannabinoid, (−)-7′-isothiocyanato-11-hydroxy-1′,1′dimethylheptyl-hexahydrocannabinol (AM841), enters the cannabinoid CB2 receptor via the lipid bilayer (Pei, Y., Mercier, R. W., Anday, J. K., Thakur, G. A., Zvonok, A. M., Hurst, D., Reggio, P. H., Janero, D. R., and Makriyannis, A. (2008) Chem. Biol. 15, 1207–1219). However, the sequence of steps involved in such a lipid pathway entry has not yet been elucidated. Here, we test the hypothesis that the endogenous cannabinoid sn-2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) attains access to the CB2 receptor via the lipid bilayer. To this end, we have employed microsecond time scale all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of the interaction of 2-AG with CB2 via a palmitoyl-oleoyl-phosphatidylcholine lipid bilayer. Results suggest the following: 1) 2-AG first partitions out of bulk lipid at the transmembrane α-helix (TMH) 6/7 interface; 2) 2-AG then enters the CB2 receptor binding pocket by passing between TMH6 and TMH7; 3) the entrance of the 2-AG headgroup into the CB2 binding pocket is sufficient to trigger breaking of the intracellular TMH3/6 ionic lock and the movement of the TMH6 intracellular end away from TMH3; and 4) subsequent to protonation at D3.49/D6.30, further 2-AG entry into the ligand binding pocket results in both a W6.48 toggle switch change and a large influx of water. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration via unbiased molecular dynamics that a ligand can access the binding pocket of a class A G protein-coupled receptor via the lipid bilayer and the first demonstration via molecular dynamics of G protein-coupled receptor activation triggered by a ligand binding event. PMID:20220143

  6. Physical and functional interaction between CB1 cannabinoid receptors and β2-adrenoceptors

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, Brian D; Hébert, Terence E; Kelly, Melanie EM

    2010-01-01

    Background and purpose: The CB1 cannabinoid receptor and the β2-adrenoceptor are G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) co-expressed in many tissues. The present study examined physical and functional interactions between these receptors in a heterologous expression system and in primary human ocular cells. Experimental approach: Physical interactions between CB1 receptors and β2-adrenoceptors were assessed using bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET). Functional interactions between these receptors were evaluated by examining receptor trafficking, as well as extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) signalling. Key results: Physical interactions between CB1 receptors and β2-adrenoceptors were demonstrated using BRET. In human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293H cells, co-expression of β2-adrenoceptors tempered the constitutive activity and increased cell surface expression of CB1 receptors. Co-expression altered the signalling properties of CB1receptors, resulting in increased Gαi-dependent ERK phosphorylation, but decreased non-Gαi-mediated CREB phosphorylation. The CB1 receptor inverse agonist AM251 (N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide) attenuated β2-adrenoceptor-pERK signalling in cells expressing both receptors, while the CB1 receptor neutral antagonist O-2050 ((6aR,10aR)-3-(1-methanesulfonylamino-4-hexyn-6-yl)-6a,7,10,10a-tetrahydro-6,6,9-trimethyl-6H-dibenzo[b,d]pyran) did not. The actions of AM251 and O-2050 were further examined in primary human trabecular meshwork (HTM) cells, which are ocular cells endogenously co-expressing CB1 receptors and β2-adrenoceptors. In HTM cells, as in HEK 293H cells, AM251 but not O-2050, altered the β2-adrenoceptor–pERK response. Conclusion and implications: A complex interaction was demonstrated between CB1 receptors and β2-adrenoceptors in HEK 293H cells. As similar functional interactions were also

  7. Cannabinoid receptor 2: potential role in immunomodulation and neuroinflammation.

    PubMed

    Rom, Slava; Persidsky, Yuri

    2013-06-01

    An accumulating body of evidence suggests that endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors type 1 and 2 (CB(1), CB(2)) play a significant role in physiologic and pathologic processes, including cognitive and immune functions. While the addictive properties of marijuana, an extract from the Cannabis plant, are well recognized, there is growing appreciation of the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in multiple pathologic conditions involving chronic inflammation (inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis, HIV-1 infection, stroke, Alzheimer's disease to name a few), mainly mediated by CB(2) activation. Development of CB(2) agonists as therapeutic agents has been hampered by the complexity of their intracellular signaling, relative paucity of highly selective compounds and insufficient data regarding end effects in the target cells and organs. This review attempts to summarize recent advances in studies of CB(2) activation in the setting of neuroinflammation, immunomodulation and HIV-1 infection.

  8. 3′-Functionalized Adamantyl Cannabinoid Receptor Probes

    PubMed Central

    Ogawa, Go; Tius, Marcus A.; Zhou, Han; Nikas, Spyros P.; Halikhedkar, Aneetha; Mallipeddi, Srikrishnan; Makriyannis, Alexandros

    2015-01-01

    The aliphatic side chain plays a pivotal role in determining the cannabinergic potency of tricyclic classical cannabinoids, and we have previously shown that this chain could be substituted successfully by adamantyl or other polycyclic groups. In an effort to explore the pharmacophoric features of these conformationally fixed groups, we have synthesized a series of analogues in which the C3 position is substituted directly with an adamantyl group bearing functionality at one of the tertiary carbon atoms. These substituents included the electrophilic isothiocyanate and photoactivatable azido groups, both of which are capable of covalent attachment with the target protein. Our results show that substitution at the 3′-adamantyl position can lead to ligands with improved affinities and CB1/CB2 selectivities. Our work has also led to the development of two successful covalent probes with high affinities for both cannabinoid receptors, namely, the electrophilic isothiocyanate AM994 and the photoactivatable aliphatic azido AM993 analogues. PMID:25760146

  9. Cannabinoids increase type 1 cannabinoid receptor expression in a cell culture model of striatal neurons: implications for Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Laprairie, Robert B; Kelly, Melanie E M; Denovan-Wright, Eileen M

    2013-09-01

    The type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) is a G protein-coupled receptor that is expressed at high levels in the striatum. Activation of CB1 increases expression of neuronal trophic factors and inhibits neurotransmitter release from GABA-ergic striatal neurons. CB1 mRNA levels can be elevated by treatment with cannabinoids in non-neuronal cells. We wanted to determine whether cannabinoid treatment could induce CB1 expression in a cell culture model of striatal neurons and, if possible, determine the molecular mechanism by which this occurred. We found that treatment of STHdh(7/7) cells with the cannabinoids ACEA, mAEA, and AEA produced a CB1receptor-dependent increase in CB1 promoter activity, mRNA, and protein expression. This response was Akt- and NF-κB-dependent. Because decreased CB1 expression is thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of Huntington's disease (HD), we wanted to determine whether cannabinoids could increase CB1 expression in STHdh(7/111) and (111/111) cells expressing the mutant huntingtin protein. We observed that cannabinoid treatment increased CB1 mRNA levels approximately 10-fold in STHdh(7/111) and (111/111) cells, compared to vehicle treatment. Importantly, cannabinoid treatment improved ATP production, increased the expression of the trophic factor BDNF-2, and the mitochondrial regulator PGC1α, and reduced spontaneous GABA release, in HD cells. Therefore, cannabinoid-mediated increases in CB1 levels could reduce the severity of some molecular pathologies observed in HD.

  10. Cannabinoid-induced mesenteric vasodilation through an endothelial site distinct from CB1 or CB2 receptors

    PubMed Central

    Járai, Zoltán; Wagner, Jens A.; Varga, Károly; Lake, Kristy D.; Compton, David R.; Martin, Billy R.; Zimmer, Anne M.; Bonner, Tom I.; Buckley, Nancy E.; Mezey, Eva; Razdan, Raj K.; Zimmer, Andreas; Kunos, George

    1999-01-01

    Cannabinoids, including the endogenous ligand arachidonyl ethanolamide (anandamide), elicit not only neurobehavioral but also cardiovascular effects. Two cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, have been cloned, and studies with the selective CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716A have implicated peripherally located CB1 receptors in the hypotensive action of cannabinoids. In rat mesenteric arteries, anandamide-induced vasodilation is inhibited by SR141716A, but other potent CB1 receptor agonists, such as HU-210, do not cause vasodilation, which implicates an as-yet-unidentified receptor in this effect. Here we show that “abnormal cannabidiol” (Abn-cbd) is a neurobehaviorally inactive cannabinoid that does not bind to CB1 receptors, yet causes SR141716A-sensitive hypotension and mesenteric vasodilation in wild-type mice and in mice lacking CB1 receptors or both CB1 and CB2 receptors. Hypotension by Abn-cbd is also inhibited by cannabidiol (20 μg/g), which does not influence anandamide- or HU-210-induced hypotension. In the rat mesenteric arterial bed, Abn-cbd-induced vasodilation is unaffected by blockade of endothelial NO synthase, cyclooxygenase, or capsaicin receptors, but it is abolished by endothelial denudation. Mesenteric vasodilation by Abn-cbd, but not by acetylcholine, sodium nitroprusside, or capsaicine, is blocked by SR141716A (1 μM) or by cannabidiol (10 μM). Abn-cbd-induced vasodilation is also blocked in the presence of charybdotoxin (100 nM) plus apamin (100 nM), a combination of K+-channel toxins reported to block the release of an endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF). These findings suggest that Abn-cbd and cannabidiol are a selective agonist and antagonist, respectively, of an as-yet-unidentified endothelial receptor for anandamide, activation of which elicits NO-independent mesenteric vasodilation, possibly by means of the release of EDHF. PMID:10570211

  11. Cytotoxicity of synthetic cannabinoids on primary neuronal cells of the forebrain: the involvement of cannabinoid CB{sub 1} receptors and apoptotic cell death

    SciTech Connect

    Tomiyama, Ken-ichi; Funada, Masahiko

    2014-01-01

    The abuse of herbal products containing synthetic cannabinoids has become an issue of public concern. The purpose of this paper was to evaluate the acute cytotoxicity of synthetic cannabinoids on mouse brain neuronal cells. Cytotoxicity induced by synthetic cannabinoid (CP-55,940, CP-47,497, CP-47,497-C8, HU-210, JWH-018, JWH-210, AM-2201, and MAM-2201) was examined using forebrain neuronal cultures. These synthetic cannabinoids induced cytotoxicity in the forebrain cultures in a concentration-dependent manner. The cytotoxicity was suppressed by preincubation with the selective CB{sub 1} receptor antagonist AM251, but not with the selective CB{sub 2} receptor antagonist AM630. Furthermore, annexin-V-positive cells were found among the treated forebrain cells. Synthetic cannabinoid treatment induced the activation of caspase-3, and preincubation with a caspase-3 inhibitor significantly suppressed the cytotoxicity. These synthetic cannabinoids induced apoptosis through a caspase-3-dependent mechanism in the forebrain cultures. Our results indicate that the cytotoxicity of synthetic cannabinoids towards primary neuronal cells is mediated by the CB{sub 1} receptor, but not by the CB{sub 2} receptor, and further suggest that caspase cascades may play an important role in the apoptosis induced by these synthetic cannabinoids. In conclusion, excessive synthetic cannabinoid abuse may present a serious acute health concern due to neuronal damage or deficits in the brain. - Highlights: • Synthetic cannabinoids (classical cannabinoids, non-classical cannabinoids, and aminoalkylindole derivatives) induce cytotoxicity in mouse forebrain cultures. • Synthetic cannabinoid-induced cytotoxicity towards forebrain cultures is mediated by the CB{sub 1} receptor, but not by the CB{sub 2} receptor, and involves caspase-dependent apoptosis. • A high concentration of synthetic cannabinoids may be toxic to neuronal cells that express CB{sub 1} receptors.

  12. Cannabinoid Receptors in the Central Nervous System: Their Signaling and Roles in Disease

    PubMed Central

    Kendall, Debra A.; Yudowski, Guillermo A.

    2017-01-01

    The identification and cloning of the two major cannabinoid (CB1 and CB2) receptors together with the discovery of their endogenous ligands in the late 80s and early 90s, resulted in a major effort aimed at understanding the mechanisms and physiological roles of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Due to its expression and localization in the central nervous system (CNS), the CB1 receptor together with its endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids (eCB)) and the enzymes involved in their synthesis and degradation, has been implicated in multiple pathophysiological events ranging from memory deficits to neurodegenerative disorders among others. In this review, we will provide a general overview of the ECS with emphasis on the CB1 receptor in health and disease. We will describe our current understanding of the complex aspects of receptor signaling and trafficking, including the non-canonical signaling pathways such as those mediated by β-arrestins within the context of functional selectivity and ligand bias. Finally, we will highlight some of the disorders in which CB1 receptors have been implicated. Significant knowledge has been achieved over the last 30 years. However, much more research is still needed to fully understand the complex roles of the ECS, particularly in vivo and to unlock its true potential as a source of therapeutic targets. PMID:28101004

  13. Cardiovascular Pharmacology of Cannabinoids

    PubMed Central

    Pacher, P.; Bátkai, S.; Kunos, G.

    2008-01-01

    Cannabinoids and their synthetic and endogenous analogs affect a broad range of physiological functions, including cardiovascular variables, the most important component of their effect being profound hypotension. The mechanisms of the cardiovascular effects of cannabinoids in vivo are complex and may involve modulation of autonomic outflow in both the central and peripheral nervous systems as well as direct effects on the myocardium and vasculature. Although several lines of evidence indicate that the cardiovascular depressive effects of cannabinoids are mediated by peripherally localized CB1 receptors, recent studies provide strong support for the existence of as-yet-undefined endothelial and cardiac receptor(s) that mediate certain endocannabinoid-induced cardiovascular effects. The endogenous cannabinoid system has been recently implicated in the mechanism of hypotension associated with hemorrhagic, endotoxic, and cardiogenic shock, and advanced liver cirrhosis. Furthermore, cannabinoids have been considered as novel antihypertensive agents. A protective role of endocannabinoids in myocardial ischemia has also been documented. In this chapter, we summarize current information on the cardiovascular effects of cannabinoids and highlight the importance of these effects in a variety of pathophysiological conditions. PMID:16596789

  14. Type-1 cannabinoid receptor activity during Alzheimer's disease progression.

    PubMed

    Manuel, Iván; González de San Román, Estíbaliz; Giralt, M Teresa; Ferrer, Isidro; Rodríguez-Puertas, Rafael

    2014-01-01

    The activity of CB1 cannabinoid receptors was studied in postmortem brain samples of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients during clinical deterioration. CB1 activity was higher at earlier AD stages in limited hippocampal areas and internal layers of frontal cortex, but a decrease was observed at the advanced stages. The pattern of modification appears to indicate initial hyperactivity of the endocannabinoid system in brain areas that lack classical histopathological markers at earlier stages of AD, indicating an attempt to compensate for the initial synaptic impairment, which is then surpassed by disease progression. These results suggest that initial CB1 stimulation might have therapeutic relevance.

  15. Endogenous cannabinoids in amygdala and hippocampus in post-mortem brains of Cloninger type 1 and 2 alcoholics.

    PubMed

    Kärkkäinen, Olli K; Lehtonen, Marko; Laukkanen, Virpi; Tupala, Erkki; Hyytiä, Petri; Kautiainen, Hannu; Tiihonen, Jari; Callaway, J C; Storvik, Markus

    2013-08-01

    Accumulating evidence continues to link certain aspects of the endogenous cannabinoid (EC) system with alcohol dependence, negative-reinforcement learning, and the modulation of stress responses. Specific alterations in brain regions that are related to stress and negative-reinforcement learning have been reported to exist in Cloninger type 1 and type 2 alcoholics. To study possible differences in profiles of EC systems between Cloninger type 1 (n = 9) and type 2 (n = 8) alcoholics and non-alcoholic control subjects (n = 10), we analyzed post-mortem amygdala and hippocampus brain samples for several ECs by quantitative liquid chromatography with triple quadrupole mass-spectrometric detection. A significant difference was found between these 3 groups in terms of EC profiles in the amygdala (p = 0.037). In particular, this difference was prominent for variations in docosahexaenoylethanolamide levels, which were significantly higher in type 1 alcoholics (p = 0.022) when compared to controls. There was also a large negative correlation between anandamide concentration and mGlu1/5 receptor density in the hippocampi of Cloninger type 1 alcoholics (R = -0.88, p = 0.002), which was not seen in Cloninger type 2 alcoholics or in controls. Although preliminary, and from relatively small diagnostic groups, these results suggest that the EC system profile may be altered in the hippocampus and amygdala of Cloninger type 1 alcoholics.

  16. CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors and their Associated Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Howlett, Allyn C.; Blume, Lawrence C.; Dalton, George D.

    2011-01-01

    CB1 receptors are G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) abundant in neurons, in which they modulate neurotransmission. The CB1 receptor influence on memory and learning is well recognized, and disease states associated with CB1 receptors are observed in addiction disorders, motor dysfunction, schizophrenia, and in bipolar, depression, and anxiety disorders. Beyond the brain, CB1 receptors also function in liver and adipose tissues, vascular as well as cardiac tissue, reproductive tissues and bone. Signal transduction by CB1 receptors occurs through interaction with Gi/o proteins to inhibit adenylyl cyclase, activate mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK), inhibit voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, activate K+ currents (Kir), and influence Nitric Oxide (NO) signaling. CB1 receptors are observed in internal organelles as well as plasma membrane. β-Arrestins, adaptor protein AP-3, and G-protein receptor-associated sorting protein 1 (GASP1) modulate cellular trafficking. Cannabinoid Receptor Interacting Protein 1a (CRIP1a) is an accessory protein whose function has not been delineated. Factor Associated with Neutral sphingomyelinase (FAN) regulates ceramide signaling. Such diversity in cellular signaling and modulation by interacting proteins suggests that agonists and allosteric modulators could be developed to specifically regulate unique, cell type-specific responses. PMID:20166926

  17. MicroRNA let-7d is a target of cannabinoid CB1 receptor and controls cannabinoid signaling.

    PubMed

    Chiarlone, Anna; Börner, Christine; Martín-Gómez, Laura; Jiménez-González, Ada; García-Concejo, Adrián; García-Bermejo, María L; Lorente, Mar; Blázquez, Cristina; García-Taboada, Elena; de Haro, Amador; Martella, Elisa; Höllt, Volker; Rodríguez, Raquel; Galve-Roperh, Ismael; Kraus, Jürgen; Guzmán, Manuel

    2016-09-01

    Cannabinoid CB1 receptor, the molecular target of endocannabinoids and cannabis active components, is one of the most abundant metabotropic receptors in the brain. Cannabis is widely used for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Despite the ever-growing fundamental roles of microRNAs in the brain, the possible molecular connections between the CB1 receptor and microRNAs are surprisingly unknown. Here, by using reporter gene constructs that express interaction sequences for microRNAs in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells, we show that CB1 receptor activation enhances the expression of several microRNAs, including let-7d. This was confirmed by measuring hsa-let-7d expression levels. Accordingly, knocking-down CB1 receptor in zebrafish reduced dre-let-7d levels, and knocking-out CB1 receptor in mice decreased mmu-let-7d levels in the cortex, striatum and hippocampus. Conversely, knocking-down let-7d increased CB1 receptor mRNA expression in zebrafish, SH-SY5Y cells and primary striatal neurons. Likewise, in primary striatal neurons chronically exposed to a cannabinoid or opioid agonist, a let-7d-inhibiting sequence facilitated not only cannabinoid or opioid signaling but also cannabinoid/opioid cross-signaling. Taken together, these findings provide the first evidence for a bidirectional link between the CB1 receptor and a microRNA, namely let-7d, and thus unveil a new player in the complex process of cannabinoid action. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. The effects of beta-arrestin1 deletion on acute cannabinoid activity, brain cannabinoid receptors and tolerance to cannabinoids in mice.

    PubMed

    Breivogel, Chris S; Vaghela, Manan S

    2015-02-01

    Previous studies have indicated a role for beta-arrestin2 in the regulation of brain cannabinoid effects and cannabinoid CB1 receptors, but whether beta-arrestin1 has a role has not been investigated. To determine the role of beta-arrestin1 in cannabinoid activity. Beta-arrestin1 -/- mice and their wild-type (+/+) counterparts were assayed for antinociceptive and temperature-decreasing effects of two ligands, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CP55940, after both single and repeated administration. In vitro assays examined the effects of deletion on CB1 receptor density, agonist-binding and G-protein activation. Deletion of beta-arrestin1 diminished the effects of CP55940 in both antinociception (latency to tail withdrawal) and temperature-depression assays in mice. However, deleting beta-arrestin1 had no effect on the actions of THC in either assay. Antagonist radioligand ([(3)H]SR141716A) saturation binding indicated no difference between beta-arrestin1 +/+ and -/- mice in the density or affinity for cannabinoid CB1 receptors in brain membranes. CP55940 agonist binding in brain membranes from beta-arrestin1 +/+ mice exhibited high- and intermediate-affinity sites, but beta-arrestin1 -/- membranes exhibited an additional site with low affinity. CP55940 produced greater stimulation of [(35)S]GTPγS binding to membranes from whole brain of beta-arrestin1 -/- than +/+ mice. The rates of the development of tolerance to chronic THC or CP55940 administration did not appear to be affected by genotype. Beta-arrestin1 appeared to mediate the actions of CP55940, but did not affect the activity of THC. Beta-arrestin1 regulates cannabinoid CB1 receptor sensitivity in an agonist-selective manner, but may not be the primary mediator of tolerance to cannabinoid agonists.

  19. Complex pharmacology of natural cannabinoids: evidence for partial agonist activity of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and antagonist activity of cannabidiol on rat brain cannabinoid receptors.

    PubMed

    Petitet, F; Jeantaud, B; Reibaud, M; Imperato, A; Dubroeucq, M C

    1998-01-01

    Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta9-THC), cannabinol and cannabidiol are three important natural cannabinoids from the Marijuana plant (Cannabis sativa). Using [35S]GTP-gamma-S binding on rat cerebellar homogenate as an index of cannabinoid receptor activation we show that: delta9-THC does not induce the maximal effect obtained by classical cannabinoid receptor agonists such as CP55940. Moreover at high concentration delta9-THC exhibits antagonist properties. Cannabinol is a weak agonist on rat cerebellar cannabinoid receptors and cannabidiol behaves as an antagonist acting in the micromolar range.

  20. Identification of receptors for pig endogenous retrovirus.

    PubMed

    Ericsson, Thomas A; Takeuchi, Yasuhiro; Templin, Christian; Quinn, Gary; Farhadian, Shelli F; Wood, James C; Oldmixon, Beth A; Suling, Kristen M; Ishii, Jennifer K; Kitagawa, Yoshinori; Miyazawa, Takayuki; Salomon, Daniel R; Weiss, Robin A; Patience, Clive

    2003-05-27

    Xenotransplantation of porcine tissues has the potential to treat a wide variety of major health problems including organ failure and diabetes. Balanced against the potential benefits of xenotransplantation, however, is the risk of human infection with a porcine microorganism. In particular, the transmission of porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) is a major concern [Chapman, L. E. & Bloom, E. T. (2001) J. Am. Med. Assoc. 285, 2304-2306]. Here we report the identification of two, sequence-related, human proteins that act as receptors for PERV-A, encoded by genes located on chromosomes 8 and 17. We also describe homologs from baboon and porcine cells that also are active as receptors. Conversely, activity could not be demonstrated with a syntenic murine receptor homolog. Sequence analysis indicates that PERV-A receptors [human PERV-A receptor (HuPAR)-1, HuPAR-2, baboon PERV-A receptor 2, and porcine PERV-A receptor] are multiple membrane-spanning proteins similar to receptors for other gammaretroviruses. Expression is widespread in human tissues including peripheral blood mononuclear cells, but their biological functions are unknown. The identification of the PERV-A receptors opens avenues of research necessary for a more complete assessment of the retroviral risks of pig to human xenotransplantation.

  1. Determination and characterization of a cannabinoid receptor in rat brain.

    PubMed

    Devane, W A; Dysarz, F A; Johnson, M R; Melvin, L S; Howlett, A C

    1988-11-01

    The determination and characterization of a cannabinoid receptor from brain are reported. A biologically active bicyclic cannabinoid analgetic CP-55,940 was tritium-labeled to high specific activity. Conditions for binding to rat brain P2 membranes and synaptosomes were established. The pH optimum was between 7 and 8, and specific binding could be eliminated by heating the membranes to 60 degrees. Binding to the P2 membranes was linear within the range of 10 to 50 micrograms of protein/ml. Specific binding (defined as total binding displaced by 1 microM delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 9-THC) or 100 nM desacetyllevonantradol) was saturable. The Kd determined from Scatchard analysis was 133 pM, and the Bmax for rat cortical P2 membranes was 1.85 pmol/mg of protein. The Hill coefficient for [3H]CP-55,940 approximated 1, indicating that, under the conditions of assay, a single class of binding sites was determined that did not exhibit cooperativity. The binding was rapid (kon approximately 2.6 x 10(-4) pM-1 min-1) and reversible (Koff approximately 0.016 min-1) and (koff' greater than 0.06 min-1). The two Kd values estimated from the kinetic constants approximately 55 pM and exceeded 200 pM, respectively. The binding of the agonist ligand [3H]CP-55,940 was decreased by the nonhydrolyzable GTP analog guanylylimidodiphosphate. The guanine nucleotide induced a more rapid dissociation of the ligand from the binding site, consistent with an allosteric regulation of the putative receptor by a G protein. The binding was also sensitive to MgCl2 and CaCl2. Binding of [3H]CP-55,940 was displaced by cannabinoid drugs in the following order of potency: CP-55,940 greater than or equal to desacetyllevonantradol greater than 11-OH-delta 9-THC = delta 9-THC greater than cannabinol. Cannabidiol and cannabigerol displaced [3H]CP-55,940 by less than 50% at 1 microM concentrations. The (-)-isomer of CP-55,940 displaced with 50-fold greater potency than the (+)-isomer. This

  2. Cannabinoids attenuate norepinephrine-induced melatonin biosynthesis in the rat pineal gland by reducing arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase activity without involvement of cannabinoid receptors.

    PubMed

    Koch, Marco; Dehghani, Faramarz; Habazettl, Iris; Schomerus, Christof; Korf, Horst-Werner

    2006-07-01

    Cannabinoids modulate neuronal and neuroendocrine circuits by binding to cannabinoid receptors acting upon cAMP/Ca(2+)-mediated intracellular signaling cascades. The rat pineal represents an established model to investigate intracellular signaling processes because a well defined input, the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, is transformed via cAMP/Ca(2+)-dependent mechanisms into an easily detectable output signal, the biosynthesis of melatonin. Here we investigated the impact of cannabinoids on norepinephrine-regulated melatonin biosynthesis in the rat pineal. We demonstrated that treatment of cultured rat pineals with 9-carboxy-11-nor-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol or cannabinol significantly reduced norepinephrine-induced arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) activity and melatonin biosynthesis. These effects were not mimicked by the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 and were not blocked by cannabinoid 1 and 2 receptor antagonists. The cannabinoids used did not affect norepinephrine-induced increases in cAMP/Ca(2+) levels. Notably, cannabinoids were found to directly inhibit AANAT activity in lysates of the pineal gland. This effect was specific in so far as cannabinoids did not influence the activity of hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT), the last enzyme in melatonin biosynthesis. Taken together, our data strongly suggest that cannabinoids inhibit AANAT activity and attenuate melatonin biosynthesis through intracellular actions without involvement of classical cannabinoid receptor-dependent signaling cascades.

  3. Modulation of Pilocarpine-Induced Seizures by Cannabinoid Receptor 1

    PubMed Central

    Kow, Rebecca L.; Jiang, Kelly; Naydenov, Alipi V.; Le, Joshua H.; Stella, Nephi; Nathanson, Neil M.

    2014-01-01

    Administration of the muscarinic agonist pilocarpine is commonly used to induce seizures in rodents for the study of epilepsy. Activation of muscarinic receptors has been previously shown to increase the production of endocannabinoids in the brain. Endocannabinoids act at the cannabinoid CB1 receptors to reduce neurotransmitter release and the severity of seizures in several models of epilepsy. In this study, we determined the effect of CB1 receptor activity on the induction in mice of seizures by pilocarpine. We found that decreased activation of the CB1 receptor, either through genetic deletion of the receptor or treatment with a CB1 antagonist, increased pilocarpine seizure severity without modifying seizure-induced cell proliferation and cell death. These results indicate that endocannabinoids act at the CB1 receptor to modulate the severity of pilocarpine-induced seizures. Administration of a CB1 agonist produced characteristic CB1-dependent behavioral responses, but did not affect pilocarpine seizure severity. A possible explanation for the lack of effect of CB1 agonist administration on pilocarpine seizures, despite the effects of CB1 antagonist administration and CB1 gene deletion, is that muscarinic receptor-stimulated endocannabinoid production is acting maximally at CB1 receptors to modulate sensitivity to pilocarpine seizures. PMID:24752144

  4. G-protein receptor kinase 5 regulates the cannabinoid receptor 2-induced up-regulation of serotonin 2A receptors.

    PubMed

    Franklin, Jade M; Carrasco, Gonzalo A

    2013-05-31

    We have recently reported that cannabinoid agonists can up-regulate and enhance the activity of serotonin 2A (5-HT2A) receptors in the prefrontal cortex (PFCx). Increased expression and activity of cortical 5-HT2A receptors has been associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and schizophrenia. Here we report that repeated CP55940 exposure selectively up-regulates GRK5 proteins in rat PFCx and in a neuronal cell culture model. We sought to examine the mechanism underlying the regulation of GRK5 and to identify the role of GRK5 in the cannabinoid agonist-induced up-regulation and enhanced activity of 5-HT2A receptors. Interestingly, we found that cannabinoid agonist-induced up-regulation of GRK5 involves CB2 receptors, β-arrestin 2, and ERK1/2 signaling because treatment with CB2 shRNA lentiviral particles, β-arrestin 2 shRNA lentiviral particles, or ERK1/2 inhibitor prevented the cannabinoid agonist-induced up-regulation of GRK5. Most importantly, we found that GRK5 shRNA lentiviral particle treatment prevented the cannabinoid agonist-induced up-regulation and enhanced 5-HT2A receptor-mediated calcium release. Repeated cannabinoid exposure was also associated with enhanced phosphorylation of CB2 receptors and increased interaction between β-arrestin 2 and ERK1/2. These latter phenomena were also significantly inhibited by GRK5 shRNA lentiviral treatment. Our results suggest that sustained activation of CB2 receptors, which up-regulates 5-HT2A receptor signaling, enhances GRK5 expression; the phosphorylation of CB2 receptors; and the β-arrestin 2/ERK interactions. These data could provide a rationale for some of the adverse effects associated with repeated cannabinoid agonist exposure.

  5. Interaction between the cholecystokinin and endogenous cannabinoid systems in cued fear expression and extinction retention.

    PubMed

    Bowers, Mallory E; Ressler, Kerry J

    2015-02-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is thought to develop, in part, from improper inhibition of fear. Accordingly, one of the most effective treatment strategies for PTSD is exposure-based psychotherapy. Ideally, neuroscience would inform adjunct therapies that target the neurotransmitter systems involved in extinction processes. Separate studies have implicated the cholecystokinin (CCK) and endocannabinoid systems in fear; however, there is a high degree of anatomical colocalization between the cannabinoid 1 receptor (Cnr1) and CCK in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), a brain region critical for emotion regulation. Although most research has focused on GABA and GABAergic plasticity as the mechanism by which Cnr1 mediates fear inhibition, we hypothesize that a functional interaction between Cnr1 and CCKB receptor (CCKBR) is critical for fear extinction processes. In this study, systemic pharmacological manipulation of the cannabinoid system modulated cued fear expression in C57BL/6J mice after consolidation of auditory fear conditioning. Knockout of the CCKBR, however, had no effect on fear- or anxiety-like behaviors. Nonetheless, administration of a Cnr1 antagonist increased freezing behavior during a cued fear expression test in wild-type subjects, but had no effect on freezing behavior in CCKBR knockout littermates. In addition, we found that Cnr1-positive fibers form perisomatic clusters around CCKBR-positive cell bodies in the BLA. These CCKBR-positive cells comprise a molecularly heterogenous population of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. These findings provide novel evidence that Cnr1 contributes to cued fear expression via an interaction with the CCK system. Dysfunctional Cnr1-CCKBR interactions might contribute to the etiology of, or result from, fear-related psychiatric disease.

  6. Interaction between the Cholecystokinin and Endogenous Cannabinoid Systems in Cued Fear Expression and Extinction Retention

    PubMed Central

    Bowers, Mallory E; Ressler, Kerry J

    2015-01-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is thought to develop, in part, from improper inhibition of fear. Accordingly, one of the most effective treatment strategies for PTSD is exposure-based psychotherapy. Ideally, neuroscience would inform adjunct therapies that target the neurotransmitter systems involved in extinction processes. Separate studies have implicated the cholecystokinin (CCK) and endocannabinoid systems in fear; however, there is a high degree of anatomical colocalization between the cannabinoid 1 receptor (Cnr1) and CCK in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), a brain region critical for emotion regulation. Although most research has focused on GABA and GABAergic plasticity as the mechanism by which Cnr1 mediates fear inhibition, we hypothesize that a functional interaction between Cnr1 and CCKB receptor (CCKBR) is critical for fear extinction processes. In this study, systemic pharmacological manipulation of the cannabinoid system modulated cued fear expression in C57BL/6J mice after consolidation of auditory fear conditioning. Knockout of the CCKBR, however, had no effect on fear- or anxiety-like behaviors. Nonetheless, administration of a Cnr1 antagonist increased freezing behavior during a cued fear expression test in wild-type subjects, but had no effect on freezing behavior in CCKBR knockout littermates. In addition, we found that Cnr1-positive fibers form perisomatic clusters around CCKBR-positive cell bodies in the BLA. These CCKBR-positive cells comprise a molecularly heterogenous population of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. These findings provide novel evidence that Cnr1 contributes to cued fear expression via an interaction with the CCK system. Dysfunctional Cnr1–CCKBR interactions might contribute to the etiology of, or result from, fear-related psychiatric disease. PMID:25176168

  7. The diverse CB1 and CB2 receptor pharmacology of three plant cannabinoids: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin

    PubMed Central

    Pertwee, R G

    2007-01-01

    Cannabis sativa is the source of a unique set of compounds known collectively as plant cannabinoids or phytocannabinoids. This review focuses on the manner with which three of these compounds, (−)-trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), (−)-cannabidiol (CBD) and (−)-trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (Δ9-THCV), interact with cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors. Δ9-THC, the main psychotropic constituent of cannabis, is a CB1 and CB2 receptor partial agonist and in line with classical pharmacology, the responses it elicits appear to be strongly influenced both by the expression level and signalling efficiency of cannabinoid receptors and by ongoing endogenous cannabinoid release. CBD displays unexpectedly high potency as an antagonist of CB1/CB2 receptor agonists in CB1- and CB2-expressing cells or tissues, the manner with which it interacts with CB2 receptors providing a possible explanation for its ability to inhibit evoked immune cell migration. Δ9-THCV behaves as a potent CB2 receptor partial agonist in vitro. In contrast, it antagonizes cannabinoid receptor agonists in CB1-expressing tissues. This it does with relatively high potency and in a manner that is both tissue and ligand dependent. Δ9-THCV also interacts with CB1 receptors when administered in vivo, behaving either as a CB1 antagonist or, at higher doses, as a CB1 receptor agonist. Brief mention is also made in this review, first of the production by Δ9-THC of pharmacodynamic tolerance, second of current knowledge about the extent to which Δ9-THC, CBD and Δ9-THCV interact with pharmacological targets other than CB1 or CB2 receptors, and third of actual and potential therapeutic applications for each of these cannabinoids. PMID:17828291

  8. Crystal Structure of the Human Cannabinoid Receptor CB1.

    PubMed

    Hua, Tian; Vemuri, Kiran; Pu, Mengchen; Qu, Lu; Han, Gye Won; Wu, Yiran; Zhao, Suwen; Shui, Wenqing; Li, Shanshan; Korde, Anisha; Laprairie, Robert B; Stahl, Edward L; Ho, Jo-Hao; Zvonok, Nikolai; Zhou, Han; Kufareva, Irina; Wu, Beili; Zhao, Qiang; Hanson, Michael A; Bohn, Laura M; Makriyannis, Alexandros; Stevens, Raymond C; Liu, Zhi-Jie

    2016-10-20

    Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) is the principal target of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive chemical from Cannabis sativa with a wide range of therapeutic applications and a long history of recreational use. CB1 is activated by endocannabinoids and is a promising therapeutic target for pain management, inflammation, obesity, and substance abuse disorders. Here, we present the 2.8 Å crystal structure of human CB1 in complex with AM6538, a stabilizing antagonist, synthesized and characterized for this structural study. The structure of the CB1-AM6538 complex reveals key features of the receptor and critical interactions for antagonist binding. In combination with functional studies and molecular modeling, the structure provides insight into the binding mode of naturally occurring CB1 ligands, such as THC, and synthetic cannabinoids. This enhances our understanding of the molecular basis for the physiological functions of CB1 and provides new opportunities for the design of next-generation CB1-targeting pharmaceuticals.

  9. Cannabinoid receptor signaling regulates liver development and metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Leah Y.; Alexa, Kristen; Cortes, Mauricio; Schatzman-Bone, Stephanie; Kim, Andrew J.; Mukhopadhyay, Bani; Cinar, Resat; Kunos, George; North, Trista E.; Goessling, Wolfram

    2016-01-01

    Endocannabinoid (EC) signaling mediates psychotropic effects and regulates appetite. By contrast, potential roles in organ development and embryonic energy consumption remain unknown. Here, we demonstrate that genetic or chemical inhibition of cannabinoid receptor (Cnr) activity disrupts liver development and metabolic function in zebrafish (Danio rerio), impacting hepatic differentiation, but not endodermal specification: loss of cannabinoid receptor 1 (cnr1) and cnr2 activity leads to smaller livers with fewer hepatocytes, reduced liver-specific gene expression and proliferation. Functional assays reveal abnormal biliary anatomy and lipid handling. Adult cnr2 mutants are susceptible to hepatic steatosis. Metabolomic analysis reveals reduced methionine content in Cnr mutants. Methionine supplementation rescues developmental and metabolic defects in Cnr mutant livers, suggesting a causal relationship between EC signaling, methionine deficiency and impaired liver development. The effect of Cnr on methionine metabolism is regulated by sterol regulatory element-binding transcription factors (Srebfs), as their overexpression rescues Cnr mutant liver phenotypes in a methionine-dependent manner. Our work describes a novel developmental role for EC signaling, whereby Cnr-mediated regulation of Srebfs and methionine metabolism impacts liver development and function. PMID:26884397

  10. Cannabinoid receptor signaling regulates liver development and metabolism.

    PubMed

    Liu, Leah Y; Alexa, Kristen; Cortes, Mauricio; Schatzman-Bone, Stephanie; Kim, Andrew J; Mukhopadhyay, Bani; Cinar, Resat; Kunos, George; North, Trista E; Goessling, Wolfram

    2016-02-15

    Endocannabinoid (EC) signaling mediates psychotropic effects and regulates appetite. By contrast, potential roles in organ development and embryonic energy consumption remain unknown. Here, we demonstrate that genetic or chemical inhibition of cannabinoid receptor (Cnr) activity disrupts liver development and metabolic function in zebrafish (Danio rerio), impacting hepatic differentiation, but not endodermal specification: loss of cannabinoid receptor 1 (cnr1) and cnr2 activity leads to smaller livers with fewer hepatocytes, reduced liver-specific gene expression and proliferation. Functional assays reveal abnormal biliary anatomy and lipid handling. Adult cnr2 mutants are susceptible to hepatic steatosis. Metabolomic analysis reveals reduced methionine content in Cnr mutants. Methionine supplementation rescues developmental and metabolic defects in Cnr mutant livers, suggesting a causal relationship between EC signaling, methionine deficiency and impaired liver development. The effect of Cnr on methionine metabolism is regulated by sterol regulatory element-binding transcription factors (Srebfs), as their overexpression rescues Cnr mutant liver phenotypes in a methionine-dependent manner. Our work describes a novel developmental role for EC signaling, whereby Cnr-mediated regulation of Srebfs and methionine metabolism impacts liver development and function.

  11. Detecting constitutive activity and protean agonism at cannabinoid-2 receptor.

    PubMed

    Beltramo, Massimiliano; Brusa, Rossella; Mancini, Isabella; Scandroglio, Paola

    2010-01-01

    Since the cannabinoid system is involved in regulating several physiological functions such as locomotor activity, cognition, nociception, food intake, and inflammatory reaction, it has been the subject of intense study. Research on the pharmacology of this system has enormously progressed in the last 20years. One intriguing aspect that emerged from this research is that cannabinoid receptors (CBs) express a high level of constitutive activity. Investigation on this particular aspect of receptor pharmacology has largely focused on CB1, the CB subtype highly expressed in several brain regions. More recently, research on constitutive activity on the other CB subtype, CB2, was stimulated by the increasing interest on its potential as target for the treatment of various pathologies (e.g., pain and inflammation). There are several possible implications of constitutive activity on the therapeutic action of both agonists and antagonists, and consequently, it is important to have valuable methods to study this aspect of CB2 pharmacology. In the present chapter, we describe three methods to study constitutive activity at CB2: two classical methods relying on the detection of changes in cAMP level and GTPγS binding and a new one based on cell impedance measurement. In addition, we also included a section on detection of protean agonism, which is an interesting pharmacological phenomenon strictly linked to constitutive activity. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Cannabinoid receptor-independent actions of the aminoalkylindole WIN 55,212-2 on trigeminal sensory neurons

    PubMed Central

    Price, Theodore J; Patwardhan, Amol; Akopian, Armen N; Hargreaves, Kenneth M; Flores, Christopher M

    2004-01-01

    The prototypical aminoalkylindole cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 (WIN-2) has been shown to produce antihyperalgesia through a peripheral mechanism of action. However, it is not known whether WIN-2 exerts this action directly via cannabinoid receptors located on primary afferents or if other, perhaps indirect or noncannabinoid, mechanisms are involved. To address this question, we have examined the specific actions of WIN-2 on trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons in vitro by quantifying its ability to modulate the evoked secretion of the proinflammatory neuropeptide CGRP as well as the inflammatory mediator-induced generation of cAMP. WIN-2 evoked CGRP release from TG neurons in vitro (EC50=26 μM) in a concentration- and calcium-dependent manner, which was mimicked by the cannabinoid receptor-inactive enantiomer WIN 55,212-3 (WIN-3). Moreover, WIN-2-evoked CGRP release was attenuated by the nonselective cation channel blocker ruthenium red but not by the vanilloid receptor type 1 (TRPV1) antagonist capsazepine, suggesting that, unlike certain endogenous and synthetic cannabinoids, WIN-2 is not a TRPV1 agonist but rather acts at an as yet unidentified cation channel. The inhibitory effects of WIN-2 on TG neurons were also examined. WIN-2 neither inhibited capsaicin-evoked CGRP release nor did it inhibit forskolin-, isoproteranol- or prostaglandin E2-stimulated cAMP accumulation. On the other hand, WIN-2 significantly inhibited (EC50=1.7 μM) 50 mM K+-evoked CGRP release by approximately 70%. WIN-2 inhibition of 50 mM K+-evoked CGRP release was not reversed by antagonists of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor, but was mimicked in magnitude and potency (EC50=2.7 μM) by its cannabinoid-inactive enantiomer WIN-3. These findings indicate that WIN-2 exerts both excitatory and inhibitory effects on TG neurons, neither of which appear to be mediated by CB1, CB2 or TRPV1 receptors, but by a novel calcium-dependent mechanism. The ramifications of these results are discussed in relation

  13. Cannabinoid receptor agonists modulate oligodendrocyte differentiation by activating PI3K/Akt and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathways

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, O; Sanchez-Rodriguez, A; Le, MQU; Sanchez-Caro, C; Molina-Holgado, F; Molina-Holgado, E

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The endogenous cannabinoid system participates in oligodendrocyte progenitor differentiation in vitro. To determine the effect of synthetic cannabinoids on oligodendrocyte differentiation, we exposed differentiating cultures of oligodendrocytes with cannabinoid CB1, CB2 and CB1/CB2 receptor agonists and antagonists. The response of the PI3K/Akt and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling pathways were studied as effectors of cannabinoid activity. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Purified oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPC) obtained from primary mixed glial cell cultures were treated for 48 h with CB1, CB2 and CB1/CB2 receptor agonists (ACEA, JWH133 and HU210, respectively) in the presence or absence of the antagonists AM281 (CB1 receptor) and AM630 (CB2 receptor). Moreover, inhibitors of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt and mTOR pathways (LY294002 and rapamycin, respectively) were used to study the involvement of these pathways on cannabinoid-induced OPC maturation. KEY RESULTS ACEA, JWH133 and HU-210 enhanced OPC differentiation as assessed by the expression of stage specific antigens and myelin basic protein (MBP). Moreover, this effect was blocked by the CB receptor antagonists. ACEA, JWH133 and HU210 induced a time-dependent phosphorylation of Akt and mTOR, whereas the inhibitors of PI3K/Akt (LY294002) or of mTOR (rapamycin) reversed the effects of HU-210 on oligodendrocyte differentiation and kinase activation. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS Activation of cannabinoid CB1 or CB2 receptors with selective agonists accelerated oligodendrocyte differentiation through the mTOR and Akt signalling pathways. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed issue on Cannabinoids in Biology and Medicine. To view the other articles in this issue visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2011.163.issue-7 PMID:21480865

  14. Cannabinoid receptor stimulation increases motivation for nicotine and nicotine seeking.

    PubMed

    Gamaleddin, Islam; Wertheim, Carrie; Zhu, Andy Z X; Coen, Kathleen M; Vemuri, Kiran; Makryannis, Alex; Goldberg, Steven R; Le Foll, Bernard

    2012-01-01

    The cannabinoid system appears to play a critical facilitative role in mediating the reinforcing effects of nicotine and relapse to nicotine-seeking behaviour in abstinent subjects based on the actions of cannabinoid (CB) receptor antagonists. However, the effects of CB receptor stimulation on nicotine self-administration and reinstatement have not been systematically studied. Here, we studied the effects of WIN 55,212-2, a CB1/2 agonist, on intravenous nicotine self-administration under fixed-ratio (FR) and progressive-ratio (PR) schedules of reinforcement in rats. The effects of WIN 55,212-2 on responding for food under similar schedules were also studied. In addition, the effects of WIN 55,212-2 on nicotine- and cue-induced reinstatement of nicotine seeking were also studied, as well as the effects of WIN 55,212-2 on nicotine discrimination. WIN 55,212-2 decreased nicotine self-administration under the FR schedule. However, co-administration of WIN 55,212-2 with nicotine decreased responding for food, which suggests that this effect was non-selective. In contrast, WIN 55,212-2 increased both nicotine self-administration and responding for food under the PR schedule, produced dose-dependent reinstatement of nicotine seeking, and enhanced the reinstatement effects of nicotine-associated cues. Some of these effects were reversed by the CB1 antagonist rimonabant, but not by the CB2 antagonist AM630. In the drug discrimination tests between saline and 0.4 mg/kg nicotine, WIN 55,212-2 produced no nicotine-like discriminative effects but significantly potentiated discriminative stimulus effects of nicotine at the low dose through a CB1-receptor-dependent mechanism. These findings indicate that cannabinoid CB1-receptor stimulation increases the reinforcing effects of nicotine and precipitates relapse to nicotine-seeking behaviour in abstinent subjects. Thus, modulating CB1-receptor signalling might have therapeutic value for treating nicotine dependence. © 2011 The

  15. Cannabinoids modulate Olig2 and polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule expression in the subventricular zone of post-natal rats through cannabinoid receptor 1 and cannabinoid receptor 2.

    PubMed

    Arévalo-Martín, Angel; García-Ovejero, Daniel; Rubio-Araiz, Ana; Gómez, Oscar; Molina-Holgado, Francisco; Molina-Holgado, Eduardo

    2007-09-01

    The subventricular zone (SVZ) is a source of post-natal glial precursors that can migrate to the overlying white matter, where they may differentiate into oligodendrocytes. We showed that, in the post-natal SVZ ependymocytes, radial glia and astrocyte-like cells express cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1), whereas cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) is found in cells expressing the polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule. To study CB1 and CB2 function, post-natal rats were exposed to selective CB1 or CB2 agonists (arachidonyl-2-chloroethylamide and JWH-056, respectively) for 15 days. Accordingly, we found that CB1 activation increases the number of Olig2-positive cells in the dorsolateral SVZ, whereas CB2 activation increases polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule expression in this region. As intense myelination occurs during the first weeks of post-natal development, we examined how modulating these factors affected the expression of myelin basic protein. Pharmacological administration of agonists and antagonists of CB1 and CB2 showed that the activation of both receptors is needed to augment the expression of myelin basic protein in the subcortical white matter.

  16. Mechanisms for Recycling and Biosynthesis of Endogenous Cannabinoids Anandamide and 2-Arachidonylglycerol

    PubMed Central

    Placzek, Ekaterina A.; Okamoto, Yasuo; Ueda, Natsuo; Barker, Eric L.

    2008-01-01

    The mechanisms of endogenous cannabinoid biosynthesis are not completely understood. We hypothesized that anandamide could be recycled by the cell to form new endocannabinoid molecules and released into the extracellular space. We determined that new endocannabinoids derived from exogenous anandamide or arachidonic acid were synthesized and released from RBL-2H3 cells in response to ionomycin. Treatment of RBL-2H3 cells with nystatin and progesterone, agents that disrupt organization of lipid raft/caveolae, resulted in the attenuation of anandamide and 2-arachidonyl glycerol synthesis and/or release in response to stimulation with ionomycin suggesting a role for these membrane microdomains in endocannabinoid biosynthesis. Furthermore, anandamide synthesis may be independent of N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D as expression of the enzyme was not detected in RBL-2H3 cells. We also established that extracellular calcium is necessary for endocannabinoid biosynthesis because release of intracellular calcium stores alone does not promote endocannabinoid biosynthesis. Next, we examined the role of calcium as a “switch” to activate the synthesis of anandamide and simultaneously reduce uptake. Indeed, [3H] anandamide uptake was reduced in the presence of calcium. Our findings suggest a mechanism indicative of calcium-modulated activation of anandamide synthesis and simultaneous termination of uptake. PMID:18778304

  17. Brain cannabinoid CB₂ receptors modulate cocaine's actions in mice.

    PubMed

    Xi, Zheng-Xiong; Peng, Xiao-Qing; Li, Xia; Song, Rui; Zhang, Hai-Ying; Liu, Qing-Rong; Yang, Hong-Ju; Bi, Guo-Hua; Li, Jie; Gardner, Eliot L

    2011-07-24

    The presence and function of cannabinoid CB(2) receptors in the brain have been the subjects of much debate. We found that systemic, intranasal or intra-accumbens local administration of JWH133, a selective CB(2) receptor agonist, dose-dependently inhibited intravenous cocaine self-administration, cocaine-enhanced locomotion, and cocaine-enhanced accumbens extracellular dopamine in wild-type and CB(1) receptor knockout (CB(1)(-/-), also known as Cnr1(-/-)) mice, but not in CB(2)(-/-) (Cnr2(-/-)) mice. This inhibition was mimicked by GW405833, another CB(2) receptor agonist with a different chemical structure, and was blocked by AM630, a selective CB(2) receptor antagonist. Intra-accumbens administration of JWH133 alone dose-dependently decreased, whereas intra-accumbens administration of AM630 elevated, extracellular dopamine and locomotion in wild-type and CB(1)(-/-) mice, but not in CB(2)(-/-) mice. Intra-accumbens administration of AM630 also blocked the reduction in cocaine self-administration and extracellular dopamine produced by systemic administration of JWH133. These findings suggest that brain CB(2) receptors modulate cocaine's rewarding and locomotor-stimulating effects, likely by a dopamine-dependent mechanism.

  18. Differential cannabinoid receptor expression during reactive gliosis: a possible implication for a nonpsychotropic neuroprotection.

    PubMed

    De Filippis, Daniele; Steardo, Antonio; D'Amico, Alessandra; Scuderi, Caterina; Cipriano, Mariateresa; Esposito, Giuseppe; Iuvone, Teresa

    2009-03-31

    Activated microglia and astrocytes produce a large number of inflammatory and neurotoxic substances in various brain pathologies, above all during neurodegenerative disorders. In the search for new neuroprotective compounds, interest has turned to marijuana derivatives, since in several in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies, they have shown a great ability to control neuroinflammation. Despite the emerging evidence regarding pharmacological activities of cannabinoids, their effective introduction into clinical therapy still remains controversial and strongly limited by their unavoidable psychotropicity. Since the psychotropic effect of cannabinoids is generally linked to the activation of the CB1 receptor on neurons, the aim of our review is to clarify the function of the two cannabinoid receptors on glial cells and the differential role played by them, highlighting the emerging evidence of a CB2-mediated control of neuroinflammation that could liberate cannabinoids from the slavery of their central side effects. Despite the emerging evidence regarding pharmacological activities of cannabinoids, however their effective introduction in the clinical therapy remains still controversial and strongly limited by their unavoidable psychotropicity. Since the psychotropic effect of cannabinoids is generally linked to the activation of CB1 receptor on neurons, aim of our review is to clarify the functioning of the two cannabinoid receptors on glial cells and the differential role played by them, highlighting the emerging evidence of a CB2-mediated control of neuro-inflammation that could liberate cannabinoids from the slavery of the central side effects.

  19. Type 1 cannabinoid receptor ligands display functional selectivity in a cell culture model of striatal medium spiny projection neurons.

    PubMed

    Laprairie, Robert B; Bagher, Amina M; Kelly, Melanie E M; Dupré, Denis J; Denovan-Wright, Eileen M

    2014-09-05

    Modulation of type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) activity has been touted as a potential means of treating addiction, anxiety, depression, and neurodegeneration. Different agonists of CB1 are known to evoke varied responses in vivo. Functional selectivity is the ligand-specific activation of certain signal transduction pathways at a receptor that can signal through multiple pathways. To understand cannabinoid-specific functional selectivity, different groups have examined the effect of individual cannabinoids on various signaling pathways in heterologous expression systems. In the current study, we compared the functional selectivity of six cannabinoids, including two endocannabinoids (2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA)), two synthetic cannabinoids (WIN55,212-2 and CP55,940), and two phytocannabinoids (cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)) on arrestin2-, Gα(i/o)-, Gβγ-, Gα(s)-, and Gα(q)-mediated intracellular signaling in the mouse STHdh(Q7/Q7) cell culture model of striatal medium spiny projection neurons that endogenously express CB1. In this system, 2-AG, THC, and CP55,940 were more potent mediators of arrestin2 recruitment than other cannabinoids tested. 2-AG, AEA, and WIN55,212-2, enhanced Gα(i/o) and Gβγ signaling, with 2-AG and AEA treatment leading to increased total CB1 levels. 2-AG, AEA, THC, and WIN55,212-2 also activated Gα(q)-dependent pathways. CP55,940 and CBD both signaled through Gα(s). CP55,940, but not CBD, activated downstream Gα(s) pathways via CB1 targets. THC and CP55,940 promoted CB1 internalization and decreased CB1 protein levels over an 18-h period. These data demonstrate that individual cannabinoids display functional selectivity at CB1 leading to activation of distinct signaling pathways. To effectively match cannabinoids with therapeutic goals, these compounds must be screened for their signaling bias. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  20. Cannabinoid receptor signalling in neurodegenerative diseases: a potential role for membrane fluidity disturbance

    PubMed Central

    Maccarrone, M; Bernardi, G; Agrò, A Finazzi; Centonze, D

    2011-01-01

    Type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) is the most abundant G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) in the brain. CB1 and its endogenous agonists, the so-called ‘endocannabinoids (eCBs)’, belong to an ancient neurosignalling system that plays important functions in neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory disorders like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis. For this reason, research on the therapeutic potential of drugs modulating the endogenous tone of eCBs is very intense. Several GPCRs reside within subdomains of the plasma membranes that contain high concentrations of cholesterol: the lipid rafts. Here, the hypothesis that changes in membrane fluidity alter function of the endocannabinoid system, as well as progression of particular neurodegenerative diseases, is described. To this end, the impact of membrane cholesterol on membrane properties and hence on neurodegenerative diseases, as well as on CB1 signalling in vitro and on CB1-dependent neurotransmission within the striatum, is discussed. Overall, present evidence points to the membrane environment as a critical regulator of signal transduction triggered by CB1, and calls for further studies aimed at better clarifying the contribution of membrane lipids to eCBs signalling. The results of these investigations might be exploited also for the development of novel therapeutics able to combat disorders associated with abnormal activity of CB1. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed issue on Cannabinoids in Biology and Medicine. To view the other articles in this issue visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2011.163.issue-7 PMID:21323908

  1. Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Wei; Cui, Tanxing; Cheng, Kejun; Yang, Fei; Chen, Shao-Rui; Willenbring, Dan; Guan, Yun; Pan, Hui-Lin; Ren, Ke; Xu, Yan; Zhang, Li

    2012-06-04

    Certain types of nonpsychoactive cannabinoids can potentiate glycine receptors (GlyRs), an important target for nociceptive regulation at the spinal level. However, little is known about the potential and mechanism of glycinergic cannabinoids for chronic pain treatment. We report that systemic and intrathecal administration of cannabidiol (CBD), a major nonpsychoactive component of marijuana, and its modified derivatives significantly suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing apparent analgesic tolerance in rodents. The cannabinoids significantly potentiate glycine currents in dorsal horn neurons in rat spinal cord slices. The analgesic potency of 11 structurally similar cannabinoids is positively correlated with cannabinoid potentiation of the α3 GlyRs. In contrast, the cannabinoid analgesia is neither correlated with their binding affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors nor with their psychoactive side effects. NMR analysis reveals a direct interaction between CBD and S296 in the third transmembrane domain of purified α3 GlyR. The cannabinoid-induced analgesic effect is absent in mice lacking the α3 GlyRs. Our findings suggest that the α3 GlyRs mediate glycinergic cannabinoid-induced suppression of chronic pain. These cannabinoids may represent a novel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain and other diseases involving GlyR dysfunction.

  2. Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Wei; Cui, Tanxing; Cheng, Kejun; Yang, Fei; Chen, Shao-Rui; Willenbring, Dan; Guan, Yun; Pan, Hui-Lin; Ren, Ke; Xu, Yan

    2012-01-01

    Certain types of nonpsychoactive cannabinoids can potentiate glycine receptors (GlyRs), an important target for nociceptive regulation at the spinal level. However, little is known about the potential and mechanism of glycinergic cannabinoids for chronic pain treatment. We report that systemic and intrathecal administration of cannabidiol (CBD), a major nonpsychoactive component of marijuana, and its modified derivatives significantly suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing apparent analgesic tolerance in rodents. The cannabinoids significantly potentiate glycine currents in dorsal horn neurons in rat spinal cord slices. The analgesic potency of 11 structurally similar cannabinoids is positively correlated with cannabinoid potentiation of the α3 GlyRs. In contrast, the cannabinoid analgesia is neither correlated with their binding affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors nor with their psychoactive side effects. NMR analysis reveals a direct interaction between CBD and S296 in the third transmembrane domain of purified α3 GlyR. The cannabinoid-induced analgesic effect is absent in mice lacking the α3 GlyRs. Our findings suggest that the α3 GlyRs mediate glycinergic cannabinoid-induced suppression of chronic pain. These cannabinoids may represent a novel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain and other diseases involving GlyR dysfunction. PMID:22585736

  3. (-)-Adamantyl-delta8-tetrahydrocannabinol (AM-411), a selective cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist: effects on open-field behaviors and antagonism by SR-141716 in rats.

    PubMed

    Järbe, T U C; DiPatrizio, N V; Lu, D; Makriyannis, A

    2004-11-01

    (-)-Adamantyl-Delta8-tetrahydrocannabinol (AM-411) is a 'classical' tricyclic cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist in which the C-3 alkyl side-chain has been replaced with an adamantyl group. The compound is cannabinoid CB1 receptor subtype selective (CB1 Ki=6.86 nmol/l, CB2 Ki=52.0 nmol/l). We examined the effects of AM-411 alone and in combination with the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist, SR-141716, on open-field behaviors of rats. The lowest effective dose of AM-411, 3 mg/kg, suppressed ambulation (horizontal activity) and rearing (vertical activity) and increased circling frequency compared to vehicle control levels. Co-administration of SR-141716 normalized these changes. SR-141716 (3 and 5.6 mg/kg) also produced significant increases in scratching and grooming (both frequency and duration), effects that were not eliminated in the presence of AM-411. Coupled with previous drug discrimination data, the open-field profile of AM-411 suggests that this high-affinity CB1 cannabinoid receptor agonist induces behavioral effects similar to the natural cannabinoid Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and different from (R)-methanandamide, a chiral analog of the endogenous ligand anandamide.

  4. Cytotoxicity of synthetic cannabinoids on primary neuronal cells of the forebrain: the involvement of cannabinoid CB1 receptors and apoptotic cell death.

    PubMed

    Tomiyama, Ken-ichi; Funada, Masahiko

    2014-01-01

    The abuse of herbal products containing synthetic cannabinoids has become an issue of public concern. The purpose of this paper was to evaluate the acute cytotoxicity of synthetic cannabinoids on mouse brain neuronal cells. Cytotoxicity induced by synthetic cannabinoid (CP-55,940, CP-47,497, CP-47,497-C8, HU-210, JWH-018, JWH-210, AM-2201, and MAM-2201) was examined using forebrain neuronal cultures. These synthetic cannabinoids induced cytotoxicity in the forebrain cultures in a concentration-dependent manner. The cytotoxicity was suppressed by preincubation with the selective CB1 receptor antagonist AM251, but not with the selective CB2 receptor antagonist AM630. Furthermore, annexin-V-positive cells were found among the treated forebrain cells. Synthetic cannabinoid treatment induced the activation of caspase-3, and preincubation with a caspase-3 inhibitor significantly suppressed the cytotoxicity. These synthetic cannabinoids induced apoptosis through a caspase-3-dependent mechanism in the forebrain cultures. Our results indicate that the cytotoxicity of synthetic cannabinoids towards primary neuronal cells is mediated by the CB1 receptor, but not by the CB2 receptor, and further suggest that caspase cascades may play an important role in the apoptosis induced by these synthetic cannabinoids. In conclusion, excessive synthetic cannabinoid abuse may present a serious acute health concern due to neuronal damage or deficits in the brain.

  5. Cannabinoid CB1 receptors regulate neuronal TNF-α effects in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Silvia; Furlan, Roberto; De Chiara, Valentina; Muzio, Luca; Musella, Alessandra; Motta, Caterina; Studer, Valeria; Cavasinni, Francesca; Bernardi, Giorgio; Martino, Gianvito; Cravatt, Benjamin F; Lutz, Beat; Maccarrone, Mauro; Centonze, Diego

    2011-08-01

    Cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1Rs) regulate the neurodegenerative damage of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and of multiple sclerosis (MS). The mechanism by which CB1R stimulation exerts protective effects is still unclear. Here we show that pharmacological activation of CB1Rs dampens the tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα)-mediated potentiation of striatal spontaneous glutamate-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs), which is believed to cogently contribute to the inflammation-induced neurodegenerative damage observed in EAE mice. Furthermore, mice lacking CB1Rs showed a more severe clinical course and, in parallel, exacerbated alterations of sEPSC duration after induction of EAE, indicating that endogenous cannabinoids activate CB1Rs and mitigate the synaptotoxic action of TNFα in EAE. Consistently, we found that mice lacking the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), and thus expressing abnormally high brain levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide, developed a less severe EAE associated with preserved TNFα-induced sEPSC alterations. CB1Rs are important modulators of EAE pathophysiology, and might play a mechanistic role in the neurodegenerative damage of MS patients.

  6. Expression of Cannabinoid Receptors in Human Osteoarthritic Cartilage: Implications for Future Therapies

    PubMed Central

    Dunn, Sara L.; Wilkinson, Jeremy Mark; Crawford, Aileen; Bunning, Rowena A.D.; Le Maitre, Christine L.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Introduction: Cannabinoids have shown to reduce joint damage in animal models of arthritis and reduce matrix metalloproteinase expression in primary human osteoarthritic (OA) chondrocytes. The actions of cannabinoids are mediated by a number of receptors, including cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2), G-protein-coupled receptors 55 and 18 (GPR55 and GPR18), transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV1), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors alpha and gamma (PPARα and PPARγ). However, to date very few studies have investigated the expression and localization of these receptors in human chondrocytes, and expression during degeneration, and thus their potential in clinical applications is unknown. Methods: Human articular cartilage from patients with symptomatic OA was graded histologically and the expression and localization of cannabinoid receptors within OA cartilage and underlying bone were determined immunohistochemically. Expression levels across regions of cartilage and changes with degeneration were investigated. Results: Expression of all the cannabinoid receptors investigated was observed with no change with grade of degeneration seen in the expression of CB1, CB2, GPR55, PPARα, and PPARγ. Conversely, the number of chondrocytes within the deep zone of cartilage displaying immunopositivity for GPR18 and TRPV1 was significantly decreased in degenerate cartilage. Receptor expression was higher in chondrocytes than in osteocytes in the underlying bone. Conclusions: Chondrocytes from OA joints were shown to express a wide range of cannabinoid receptors even in degenerate tissues, demonstrating that these cells could respond to cannabinoids. Cannabinoids designed to bind to receptors inhibiting the catabolic and pain pathways within the arthritic joint, while avoiding psychoactive effects, could provide potential arthritis therapies. PMID:28861474

  7. Cannabinoid CB1 receptors control conditioned drug seeking.

    PubMed

    De Vries, Taco J; Schoffelmeer, Anton N M

    2005-08-01

    Recent developments have implicated cannabinoid CB1 receptors as a novel target for a new class of therapeutic agents used to treat drug addiction. CB1 receptors are expressed in the motivational circuitry of the brain and modulate drug seeking. Blockade of the CB1 receptor is particularly effective in reducing cue-induced reinstatement of drug seeking, an animal analogue of cue-induced relapse in human addicts. These relapse-preventing properties are observed with different classes of abused drug (i.e. psychostimulants, opiates, nicotine and alcohol). In addition, recent evidence indicates a more general role of CB1 receptors in reward-related memories, which is consistent with the proposed role of endocannabinoids in memory-related plasticity. Relapse-preventing actions and inhibitory effects on weight gain were confirmed recently in clinical trials with the CB1 antagonist rimonabant. Collectively, these clinical and preclinical studies suggest that antagonists of CB1 receptors offer a novel approach in the treatment of addictive behaviours.

  8. Predicting the CRIP1a-cannabinoid 1 receptor interactions with integrated molecular modeling approaches

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Mostafa H.; Kellogg, Glen E.; Selley, Dana E.; Safo, Martin; Zhang, Yan

    2015-01-01

    Cannabinoid receptors are a family of G-protein coupled receptors that are involved in a wide variety of physiological processes and diseases. One of the key regulators that are unique to cannabinoid receptors is the cannabinoid receptor interacting proteins (CRIPs). Among them CRIP1a was found to decrease the constitutive activity of the cannabinoid type-1 receptor (CB1R). The aim of this study is to gain an understanding of the interaction between CRIP1a and CB1R through using different computational techniques. The generated model demonstrated several key putative interactions between CRIP1a and CB1R, including those involving Lys130 of CRIP1a. PMID:24461351

  9. Reversible and regionally selective downregulation of brain cannabinoid CB1 receptors in chronic daily cannabis smokers

    PubMed Central

    Hirvonen, J; Goodwin, RS; Li, C-T; Terry, GE; Zoghbi, SS; Morse, C; Pike, VW; Volkow, ND; Huestis, MA; Innis, RB

    2011-01-01

    Chronic cannabis (marijuana, hashish) smoking can result in dependence. Rodent studies show reversible downregulation of brain cannabinoid CB1 (cannabinoid receptor type 1) receptors after chronic exposure to cannabis. However, whether downregulation occurs in humans who chronically smoke cannabis is unknown. Here we show, using positron emission tomography imaging, reversible and regionally selective downregulation of brain cannabinoid CB1 receptors in human subjects who chronically smoke cannabis. Downregulation correlated with years of cannabis smoking and was selective to cortical brain regions. After ~4 weeks of continuously monitored abstinence from cannabis on a secure research unit, CB1 receptor density returned to normal levels. This is the first direct demonstration of cortical cannabinoid CB1 receptor downregulation as a neuroadaptation that may promote cannabis dependence in human brain. PMID:21747398

  10. Pharmacological characterization of the cannabinoid CB₁ receptor PET ligand ortholog, [³H]MePPEP.

    PubMed

    Suter, Todd M; Chesterfield, Amy K; Bao, Chun; Schaus, John M; Krushinski, Joseph H; Statnick, Michael A; Felder, Christian C

    2010-12-15

    MePPEP ((3R,5R)-5-(3-methoxy-phenyl)-3-((R)-1-phenyl-ethylamino)-1-(4-trifluoromethyl-phenyl)-pyrrolidin-2-one) is an inverse agonist shown to be an effective PET ligand for labeling cannabinoid CB₁ receptors in vivo. [¹¹C]MePPEP and structurally related analogs have been reported to specifically and reversibly label cannabinoid CB₁ receptors in rat and non-human primate brains, and [¹¹C]MePPEP has been used in human subjects as a PET tracer. We have generated [³H]MePPEP, an ortholog of [¹¹C]MePPEP, to characterize the molecular pharmacology of the cannabinoid CB₁ receptor across preclinical and clinical species. [³H]MePPEP demonstrates saturable, reversible, and single-site high affinity binding to cannabinoid CB₁ receptors. In cerebellar membranes purified from brains of rat, non-human primate and human, and cells ectopically expressing recombinant human cannabinoid CB₁ receptor, [³H]MePPEP binds cannabinoid CB₁ receptors with similar affinity with K(d) values of 0.09 nM, 0.19 nM, 0.14 nM and 0.16 nM, respectively. Both agonist and antagonist cannabinoid ligands compete [³H]MePPEP with predicted rank order potency. No specific binding is present in autoradiographic sections from cannabinoid CB₁ receptor knockout mouse brains, demonstrating that [³H]MePPEP selectively binds cannabinoid CB₁ receptors in native mouse tissue. Furthermore, [³H]MePPEP binding to anatomical sites in mouse and rat brain is comparable to the anatomical profiles of [¹¹C]MePPEP in non-human primate and human brain in vivo, as well as the binding profiles of other previously described cannabinoid CB₁ receptor agonist and antagonist radioligands. Therefore, [³H]MePPEP is a promising tool for translation of preclinical cannabinoid CB₁ receptor pharmacology to clinical PET ligand and cannabinoid CB₁ receptor inverse agonist therapeutic development.

  11. Involvement of cannabinoid receptors in the intraocular pressure-lowering effects of WIN55212-2.

    PubMed

    Song, Z H; Slowey, C A

    2000-01-01

    It is known that marijuana smoking and administration of natural cannabinoids reduce intraocular pressure. However, it has not been established whether the intraocular pressure-lowering effects of cannabinoids are mediated by cannabinoid receptors. Aminoalkylindoles are a new class of cannabimimetics with structures entirely different from those of natural cannabinoids. WIN55212-2, a prototypic aminoalkylindole, has been shown to bind cannabinoid receptors and to exhibit cannabinoid-like activities. The objective of this study was to determine whether aminoalkylindoles lower intraocular pressure and whether the effects of aminoalkylindoles are mediated by ocular cannabinoid receptors. The intraocular pressure of New Zealand White rabbits was measured with the use of applanation pneumatonography. After the measurement of baseline intraocular pressure, drugs were applied topically and the intraocular pressure was monitored. The topical application of WIN55212-2 significantly reduced intraocular pressure in the treated eyes. The intraocular pressure-lowering effects of WIN55212-2 were time and dose dependent, and the maximal reduction was 4.7 +/- 0.5 mm Hg at a dose of 100 microg. In contrast to treated eyes, the intraocular pressure on the contralateral eyes was not significantly affected. The topical application of WIN55212-3, the enantiomer of WIN55212-2, had no effect on intraocular pressure. Furthermore, the intraocular pressure-lowering effects of WIN55212-2 were significantly reduced by topically administered SR141716A, a selective antagonist for the CB1 cannabinoid receptor. The dose-response curve of WIN55212-2 is shifted parallel to the right by SR141716A. These data demonstrate that like natural cannabinoids, WIN55212-2 also reduces intraocular pressure, and the effects of WIN55212-2 are mediated at least in part by the CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the eye.

  12. Cannabinoids and anxiety.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Fabrício A; Wotjak, Carsten T

    2010-01-01

    The term cannabinoids encompasses compounds produced by the plant Cannabis sativa, such as delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, and synthetic counterparts. Their actions occur mainly through activation of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors. Arachidonoyl ethanolamide (anandamide) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) serve as major endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids) of CB1 receptors. Hence, the cannabinoid receptors, the endocannabinoids, and their metabolizing enzymes comprise the endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoids induce diverse responses on anxiety- and fear-related behaviors. Generally, low doses tend to induce anxiolytic-like effects, whereas high doses often cause the opposite. Inhibition of endocannabinoid degradation seems to circumvent these biphasic effects by enhancing CB1 receptor signaling in a temporarily and spatially restricted manner, thus reducing anxiety-like behaviors. Pharmacological blockade or genetic deletion of CB1 receptors, in turn, primarily exerts anxiogenic-like effects and impairments in extinction of aversive memories. Interestingly, pharmacological blockade of Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid Type-1 (TRPV1) channel, which can be activated by anandamide as well, has diametrically opposite consequences. This book chapter summarizes and conceptualizes our current knowledge about the role of (endo)cannabinoids in fear and anxiety and outlines implications for an exploitation of the endocannabinoid system as a target for new anxiolytic drugs.

  13. Cannabinoids go nuclear: evidence for activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors

    PubMed Central

    O'Sullivan, S E

    2007-01-01

    Cannabinoids act at two classical cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), a 7TM orphan receptor and the transmitter-gated channel transient receptor potential vanilloid type-1 receptor. Recent evidence also points to cannabinoids acting at members of the nuclear receptor family, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs, with three subtypes α, β (δ) and γ), which regulate cell differentiation and lipid metabolism. Much evidence now suggests that endocannabinoids are natural activators of PPARα. Oleoylethanolamide regulates feeding and body weight, stimulates fat utilization and has neuroprotective effects mediated through activation of PPARα. Similarly, palmitoylethanolamide regulates feeding and lipid metabolism and has anti-inflammatory properties mediated by PPARα. Other endocannabinoids that activate PPARα include anandamide, virodhamine and noladin. Some (but not all) endocannabinoids also activate PPARγ; anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol have anti-inflammatory properties mediated by PPARγ. Similarly, ajulemic acid, a structural analogue of a metabolite of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), causes anti-inflammatory effects in vivo through PPARγ. THC also activates PPARγ, leading to a time-dependent vasorelaxation in isolated arteries. Other cannabinoids which activate PPARγ include N-arachidonoyl-dopamine, HU210, WIN55212-2 and CP55940. In contrast, little research has been carried out on the effects of cannabinoids at PPARδ. In this newly emerging area, a number of research questions remain unanswered; for example, why do cannabinoids activate some isoforms and not others? How much of the chronic effects of cannabinoids are through activation of nuclear receptors? And importantly, do cannabinoids confer the same neuro- and cardioprotective benefits as other PPARα and PPARγ agonists? This review will summarize the published literature implicating cannabinoid-mediated PPAR effects and discuss the implications thereof. PMID:17704824

  14. Cannabinoids go nuclear: evidence for activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors.

    PubMed

    O'Sullivan, S E

    2007-11-01

    Cannabinoids act at two classical cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), a 7TM orphan receptor and the transmitter-gated channel transient receptor potential vanilloid type-1 receptor. Recent evidence also points to cannabinoids acting at members of the nuclear receptor family, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs, with three subtypes alpha, beta (delta) and gamma), which regulate cell differentiation and lipid metabolism. Much evidence now suggests that endocannabinoids are natural activators of PPAR alpha. Oleoylethanolamide regulates feeding and body weight, stimulates fat utilization and has neuroprotective effects mediated through activation of PPAR alpha. Similarly, palmitoylethanolamide regulates feeding and lipid metabolism and has anti-inflammatory properties mediated by PPAR alpha. Other endocannabinoids that activate PPAR alpha include anandamide, virodhamine and noladin. Some (but not all) endocannabinoids also activate PPAR gamma; anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol have anti-inflammatory properties mediated by PPAR gamma. Similarly, ajulemic acid, a structural analogue of a metabolite of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), causes anti-inflammatory effects in vivo through PPAR gamma. THC also activates PPAR gamma, leading to a time-dependent vasorelaxation in isolated arteries. Other cannabinoids which activate PPAR gamma include N-arachidonoyl-dopamine, HU210, WIN55212-2 and CP55940. In contrast, little research has been carried out on the effects of cannabinoids at PPAR delta. In this newly emerging area, a number of research questions remain unanswered; for example, why do cannabinoids activate some isoforms and not others? How much of the chronic effects of cannabinoids are through activation of nuclear receptors? And importantly, do cannabinoids confer the same neuro- and cardioprotective benefits as other PPAR alpha and PPAR gamma agonists? This review will summarize the published literature implicating cannabinoid-mediated PPAR

  15. CB2 cannabinoid receptor activation promotes colon cancer progression via AKT/GSK3β signaling pathway

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Martínez, Esther; Martín-Ruiz, Asunción; Martín, Paloma; Calvo, Virginia; Provencio, Mariano; García, José M.

    2016-01-01

    The pharmacological activation of the cannabinoid receptor type 2, CB2, has been shown to elicit anti-tumoral mechanisms in different cancer types. However, little is known about its endogenous role in tumor pathophysiology, and different studies have attributed pro-tumorigenic properties to this receptor. In a previous work, we showed that CB2 expression is a poor prognostic factor in colon cancer patients. Here we report that activation of CB2 with low doses of specific agonists induce cell proliferation and favor the acquisition of aggressive molecular features in colon cancer cells. We show that sub-micromolar concentrations of CB2-specific agonists, JWH-133 and HU-308, promote an increase in cell proliferation rate through the activation of AKT/PKB pathway in colon cancer in vitro and in vivo. AKT activation promotes GSK3β inhibition and thus, a more aggressive cell phenotype with the subsequent elevation of SNAIL levels, E-cadherin degradation and β-catenin delocalization from cell membrane. Taken together, our data show that CB2 activation with sub-micromolar doses of agonists, which could be more similar to endogenous levels of cannabinoids, promote colon cancer progression, implicating that CB2 could have a pro-tumorigenic endogenous role in colon cancer. PMID:27634891

  16. High-resolution crystal structure of the human CB1 cannabinoid receptor

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Zhenhua; Yin, Jie; Chapman, Karen; Grzemska, Magdalena; Clark, Lindsay; Wang, Junmei; Rosenbaum, Daniel M.

    2016-01-01

    The human cannabinoid G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) CB1 and CB2 mediate the functional responses to the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG), as well as the widely consumed plant (phyto)cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)1. The cannabinoid receptors have been the targets of intensive drug discovery efforts due to the therapeutic potential of modulators for controlling pain2, epilepsy3, obesity4, and other maladies. While much progress has recently been made in understanding the biophysical properties of GPCRs, investigations of the molecular mechanisms of the cannabinoids and their receptors have lacked high-resolution structural data. We used GPCR engineering and lipidic cubic phase (LCP) crystallization to determine the structure of the human CB1 receptor bound to the inhibitor taranabant at 2.6 Å resolution. CB1's extracellular surface, including the highly conserved membrane-proximal amino-terminal (N-terminal) region, is distinct from other lipid-activated GPCRs and forms a critical part of the ligand binding pocket. Docking studies further demonstrate how this same pocket may accommodate the cannabinoid agonist THC. Our CB1 structure provides an atomic framework for studying cannabinoid receptor function, and will aid the design and optimization of cannabinoid system modulators for therapeutic ends. PMID:27851727

  17. Striatal adenosine A2A and cannabinoid CB1 receptors form functional heteromeric complexes that mediate the motor effects of cannabinoids.

    PubMed

    Carriba, Paulina; Ortiz, Oskar; Patkar, Kshitij; Justinova, Zuzana; Stroik, Jessica; Themann, Andrea; Müller, Christa; Woods, Anima S; Hope, Bruce T; Ciruela, Francisco; Casadó, Vicent; Canela, Enric I; Lluis, Carme; Goldberg, Steven R; Moratalla, Rosario; Franco, Rafael; Ferré, Sergi

    2007-11-01

    The mechanism of action responsible for the motor depressant effects of cannabinoids, which operate through centrally expressed cannabinoid CB1 receptors, is still a matter of debate. In the present study, we report that CB1 and adenosine A2A receptors form heteromeric complexes in co-transfected HEK-293T cells and rat striatum, where they colocalize in fibrilar structures. In a human neuroblastoma cell line, CB1 receptor signaling was found to be completely dependent on A2A receptor activation. Accordingly, blockade of A2A receptors counteracted the motor depressant effects produced by the intrastriatal administration of a cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist. These biochemical and behavioral findings demonstrate that the profound motor effects of cannabinoids depend on physical and functional interactions between striatal A2A and CB1 receptors.

  18. A cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist ameliorates impairment of recognition memory on withdrawal from MDMA (Ecstasy).

    PubMed

    Nawata, Yoko; Hiranita, Takato; Yamamoto, Tsuneyuki

    2010-01-01

    (+/-)-3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'Ecstasy') abusers have persistent neuropsychiatric deficits including memory impairments after the cessation of abuse. On the other hand, cannabinoid CB(1) receptors have been implicated in learning/memory, and are highly expressed in the hippocampus, a region of the brain believed to have an important function in certain forms of learning and memory. In this study, we clarified the mechanism underlying the cognitive impairment that develops during MDMA withdrawal from the standpoint of the cannabinoid CB(1) receptors. Mice were administered MDMA (10 mg/kg, i.p.) once a day for 7 days. On the 7th day of withdrawal, a novel object recognition task was performed and the amount of cannabinoid CB(1) receptor protein was measured with western blotting. Recognition performance was impaired on the 7th day of withdrawal. This impairment was blocked by AM251, a cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist, administered 30 min before the training trial or co-administered with MDMA. At this time, the level of cannabinoid CB(1) receptor protein increased significantly in the hippocampus but not the prefrontal cortex or striatum. This increase of CB(1) receptor protein in the hippocampus was also blocked by the co-administration of AM251. Furthermore, CB(1) receptor knockout mice showed no impairment of recognition performance on the withdrawal from MDMA. The impairment of recognition memory during withdrawal from MDMA may result from the activation of cannabinoid CB(1) receptors in the hippocampus.

  19. Hypothalamic CB1 cannabinoid receptors regulate energy balance in mice.

    PubMed

    Cardinal, Pierre; Bellocchio, Luigi; Clark, Samantha; Cannich, Astrid; Klugmann, Matthias; Lutz, Beat; Marsicano, Giovanni; Cota, Daniela

    2012-09-01

    Cannabinoid type 1 (CB(1)) receptor activation is generally considered a powerful orexigenic signal and inhibition of the endocannabinoid system is beneficial for the treatment of obesity and related metabolic diseases. The hypothalamus plays a critical role in regulating energy balance by modulating both food intake and energy expenditure. Although CB(1) receptor signaling has been implicated in the modulation of both these mechanisms, a complete understanding of its role in the hypothalamus is still lacking. Here we combined a genetic approach with the use of adeno-associated viral vectors to delete the CB(1) receptor gene in the adult mouse hypothalamus and assessed the impact of such manipulation on the regulation of energy balance. Viral-mediated deletion of the CB(1) receptor gene in the hypothalamus led to the generation of Hyp-CB(1)-KO mice, which displayed an approximately 60% decrease in hypothalamic CB(1) receptor mRNA levels. Hyp-CB(1)-KO mice maintained on a normocaloric, standard diet showed decreased body weight gain over time, which was associated with increased energy expenditure and elevated β(3)-adrenergic receptor and uncoupling protein-1 mRNA levels in the brown adipose tissue but, surprisingly, not to changes in food intake. Additionally, Hyp-CB(1)-KO mice were insensitive to the anorectic action of the hormone leptin (5 mg/kg) and displayed a time-dependent hypophagic response to the CB(1) inverse agonist rimonabant (3 mg/kg). Altogether these findings suggest that hypothalamic CB(1) receptor signaling is a key determinant of energy expenditure under basal conditions and reveal its specific role in conveying the effects of leptin and pharmacological CB1 receptor antagonism on food intake.

  20. Chronic activation of CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the hippocampus increases excitatory synaptic transmission

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jimok; Li, Yong

    2015-01-01

    The roles of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in regulating neuronal activity have been extensively characterized. Although early studies show that CB1 receptors are present in the nervous system and CB2 cannabinoid receptors are in the immune system, recent evidence indicates that CB2 receptors are also expressed in the brain. Activation or blockade of CB2 receptors in vivo induces neuropsychiatric effects, but the cellular mechanisms of CB2 receptor function are unclear. The aim of this study is to determine how activation of CB2 receptors present in the hippocampus regulates synaptic function. Here, we show that when organotypic cultures of rodent hippocampal slices were treated with a CB2 receptor agonist (JWH133 or GP1a) for 7–10 days, quantal glutamate release became more frequent and spine density was increased via extracellular signal-regulated kinases. Chronic intraperitoneal injection of JWH133 into mice also increased excitatory synaptic transmission. These effects were blocked by a CB2 receptor antagonist (SR144528) or absent from hippocampal slices of CB2 receptor knock-out mice. This study reveals a novel cellular function of CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the hippocampus and provides insights into how cannabinoid receptor subtypes diversify the roles of cannabinoids in the brain. PMID:25504573

  1. Endogenous GABAA receptor activity suppresses glioma growth.

    PubMed

    Blanchart, A; Fernando, R; Häring, M; Assaife-Lopes, N; Romanov, R A; Andäng, M; Harkany, T; Ernfors, P

    2017-02-09

    Although genome alterations driving glioma by fueling cell malignancy have largely been resolved, less is known of the impact of tumor environment on disease progression. Here, we demonstrate functional GABAA receptor-activated currents in human glioblastoma cells and show the existence of a continuous GABA signaling within the tumor cell mass that significantly affects tumor growth and survival expectancy in mouse models. Endogenous GABA released by tumor cells, attenuates proliferation of the glioma cells with enriched expression of stem/progenitor markers and with competence to seed growth of new tumors. Our results suggest that GABA levels rapidly increase in tumors impeding further growth. Thus, shunting chloride ions by a maintained local GABAA receptor activity within glioma cells has a significant impact on tumor development by attenuating proliferation, reducing tumor growth and prolonging survival, a mechanism that may have important impact on therapy resistance and recurrence following tumor resection.

  2. Cannabinoid type 2 receptor as a target for chronic - pain.

    PubMed

    Beltramo, Massimiliano

    2009-01-01

    Availability of selective pharmacological tools enabled a great advance of our knowledge of cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) role in pathophysiology. In particular CB2 emerged as an interesting target for chronic pain treatment as demonstrated by several studies on inflammatory and neuropathic preclinal pain models. The mechanisms at the basis of CB2-mediated analgesia are still controversial but data are pointing out in two main directions: an effect on inflammatory cells and/or an action on nociceptors and spinal cord relay centers. In this review will be described the second messenger pathways activated by CB2 agonists, the data underpinning the analgesic profile of CB2 selective agonists and the mechanisms invoked to explain their analgesic action. Finally the ongoing clinical trials and the potential issues for the development of a CB2 agonist drug will be examined.

  3. Cannabinoid Receptors: A Novel Target for Therapy of Prostate Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-02-01

    Prescribed by ANSI Std. Z39.18 Table of Contents Background.…………………………………………………………….…………4 Body …………………………………………………………………………….....5...establish whether cannabinoid receptors could prove to be useful targets for the treatment of prostate cancer. 4 W81XWH-04-1-0217 Body ...Roperh, I., Huffman, J. W., Ramon, y., Cajal . S., and Guzman, M. (2001) Cancer Res. 61, 5784–5789 7. Casanova,M. L., Blazquez, C.,Martinez-Palacio, J

  4. Cannabinoid Receptors: A Novel Target for Treating Prostate Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-02-01

    1 SF 298……………………………………………………………………………2 Background.…………………………………………………………….………..4 Body ……………………………………………………………………………...5...whether cannabinoid receptors could prove to be useful targets for the treatment of prostate cancer. 4 W81XWH-04-1-0217 Body Specific...Velasco G, Galve- Roperh I, Huffman JW, Ramon y Cajal S, Guzman M. (2001) Cancer Res., 61, 5784- 5789. Sanchez I, Dynlacht BD. (2005). Semin. Cell

  5. Structural and pharmacological analysis of O-2050, a putative neutral cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist

    PubMed Central

    Wiley, Jenny L.; Breivogel, Christopher S.; Mahadevan, Anu; Pertwee, Roger G.; Cascio, Maria Grazia; Bolognini, Daniele; Huffman, John W.; Walentiny, D. Matthew; Vann, Robert E.; Razdan, Raj K.; Martin, Billy R.

    2010-01-01

    Rimonabant, the prototypic antagonist of cannabinoid CB1 receptors, has been reported to have inverse agonist properties at higher concentrations, which may complicate its use as a tool for mechanistic evaluation of cannabinoid pharmacology. Consequently, recent synthesis efforts have concentrated on discovery of a neutral antagonist using a variety of structural templates. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the pharmacological properties of the putative neutral cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist O-2050, a sulfonamide side chain analog of Δ8-tetrahydrocannabinol. O-2050 and related sulfonamide cannabinoids exhibited good affinity for both cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors. While the other sulfonamide analogs produced cannabinoid agonist effects in vivo (e.g., activity suppression, antinociception, and hypothermia), O-2050 stimulated activity and was inactive in the other two tests. O-2050 also decreased food intake in mice, an effect that was reminiscent of that produced by rimonabant. Unlike rimonabant, however, O-2050 did not block the effects of cannabinoid agonists in vivo, even when administered i.c.v. In contrast, O-2050 antagonized the in vitro effects of cannabinoid agonists in [35S]GTPγS and mouse vas deferens assays without having activity on its own in either assay. Further evaluation revealed that O-2050 fully and dose-dependently substituted for Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in a mouse drug discrimination procedure (a cannabinoid agonist effect) and that it inhibited forskolin-stimulated cyclic AMP signaling with a maximum efficacy of approximately half that of the full agonist CP55,940 [(−)-cis-3-[2-hydroxy-4(1,1-dimethyl-heptyl)phenyl]-trans-4-(3-hydroxy-propyl)cyclohexanol]. Together, these results suggest that O-2050 is not a viable candidate for classification as a neutral cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist. PMID:21114999

  6. Cardiorespiratory Anomalies in Mice Lacking CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Bastianini, Stefano; Cohen, Gary; Lo Martire, Viviana; Mazza, Roberta; Pagotto, Uberto; Quarta, Carmelo; Zoccoli, Giovanna

    2014-01-01

    Cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors are expressed in the nervous and cardiovascular systems. In mice, CB1 receptor deficiency protects from metabolic consequences of a high-fat diet (HFD), increases sympathetic activity to brown fat, and entails sleep anomalies. We investigated whether sleep-wake and diet-dependent cardiorespiratory control is altered in mice lacking CB1 receptors. CB1 receptor knock-out (KO) and intact wild-type (WT) mice were fed standard diet or a HFD for 3 months, and implanted with a telemetric arterial pressure transducer and electrodes for sleep scoring. Sleep state was assessed together with arterial pressure and heart rate (home cage), or breathing (whole-body plethysmograph). Increases in arterial pressure and heart rate on passing from the light (rest) to the dark (activity) period in the KO were significantly enhanced compared with the WT. These increases were unaffected by cardiac (β1) or vascular (α1) adrenergic blockade. The breathing rhythm of the KO during sleep was also more irregular than that of the WT. A HFD increased heart rate, impaired cardiac vagal modulation, and blunted the central autonomic cardiac control during sleep. A HFD also decreased cardiac baroreflex sensitivity in the KO but not in the WT. In conclusion, we performed the first systematic study of cardiovascular function in CB1 receptor deficient mice during spontaneous wake-sleep behavior, and demonstrated that CB1 receptor KO alters cardiorespiratory control particularly in the presence of a HFD. The CB1 receptor signaling may thus play a role in physiological cardiorespiratory regulation and protect from some adverse cardiovascular consequences of a HFD. PMID:24950219

  7. The calcium-sensitive Sigma-1 receptor prevents cannabinoids from provoking glutamate NMDA receptor hypofunction: implications in antinociception and psychotic diseases.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Blázquez, Pilar; Rodríguez-Muñoz, María; Herrero-Labrador, Raquel; Burgueño, Javier; Zamanillo, Daniel; Garzón, Javier

    2014-12-01

    Through the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1), the endocannabinoid system plays a physiological role in maintaining the activity of glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor within harmless limits. The influence of cannabinoids must be proportional to the stimulus in order to prevent NMDAR overactivation or exaggerated hypofunction that may precipitate symptoms of psychosis. In this framework, the recently reported association of CB1s with NMDARs, which mediates the reduction of cannabinoid analgesia promoted by NMDAR antagonism, could also support the precipitation of schizophrenia brought about by the abuse of smoked cannabis, mostly among vulnerable individuals. Accordingly, we have investigated this possibility using neuroprotection and analgesia as reporters of the CB1-NMDAR connection. We found that the Sigma 1 receptor (σ1R) acts as a safety switch, releasing NMDARs from the influence of CB1s and thereby avoiding glutamate hypofunction. In σ1R(-/-) mice the activity of NMDARs increases and cannot be regulated by cannabinoids, and NMDAR antagonism produces no effect on cannabinoid analgesia. In wild-type mice, ligands of the σ1R did not affect the CB1-NMDAR regulatory association, however, experimental NMDAR hypofunction enabled σ1R antagonists to release NMDARs from the negative control of CB1s. Of the σ1R antagonists tested, their order of activity was: S1RA > BD1047 ≫ NE100 = BD1063, although SKF10047, PRE-084 and (+)pentazocine were inactive yet able to abolish the effect of S1RA in this paradigm. Thus, the σ1R controls the extent of CB1-NMDAR interaction and its failure might constitute a vulnerability factor for cannabis abuse, potentially precipitating schizophrenia that might otherwise be induced later in time by the endogenous system.

  8. Adjuvant topical therapy with a cannabinoid receptor agonist in facial postherpetic neuralgia.

    PubMed

    Phan, Ngoc Quan; Siepmann, Dorothee; Gralow, Ingrid; Ständer, Sonja

    2010-02-01

    Postherpetic neuralgia is a frequent adverse event in herpes zoster patients and difficult to treat. Conventional analgetic therapy often fails to reduce the burning pain transmitted by unmyelinated nerve fibers. These nerves express cannabinoid receptors which exert a role in modulation of nociceptive symptoms. Therefore, topical therapy with cannabinoid receptor agonist seems likely to suppress local burning pain. In an open-labeled trial, 8 patients with facial postherpetic neuralgia received a cream containing the cannabinoid receptor agonist N-palmitoylethanolamine. The course of symptoms was scored with the visual analog scale. 5 of 8 patients (62.5 %) experienced a mean pain reduction of 87.8 %. Therapy was tolerated by all patients. No unpleasant sensations or adverse events occurred. Topical cannabinoid receptor agonists are an effective and well-tolerated adjuvant therapy option in postherpetic neuralgia.

  9. Thujone exhibits low affinity for cannabinoid receptors but fails to evoke cannabimimetic responses.

    PubMed

    Meschler, J P; Howlett, A C

    1999-03-01

    Absinthe, an abused drug in the early 1900s, has been speculated to activate the receptors responsible for marijuana intoxication (the CB1 cannabinoid receptor) (Nature 253:365-356; 1975). To test this hypothesis, we investigated oil of wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) the active plant product found in absinthe, and thujone, the active compound found in oil of wormwood. Radioligand receptor binding assays employing membrane preparations from rat brains containing CB1 cannabinoid receptors, and human tonsils containing CB2 receptors, demonstrated that thujone displaced [3H]CP55940, a cannabinoid agonist, only at concentrations above 10 microM. HPLC analysis of oil of wormwood revealed that only the fractions having mobility close to thujone displaced [3H]CP55940 from the CB1 cannabinoid receptor. [35S]GTPgammaS binding assays revealed that thujone failed to stimulate G-proteins even at 0.1 mM. Thujone failed to inhibit forskolin-stimulated adenylate cyclase activity in N18TG2 membranes at 1 mM. Rats administered thujone exhibited different behavioral characteristics compared with rats administered a potent cannabinoid agonist, levonantradol. Therefore, the hypothesis that activation of cannabinoid receptors is responsible for the intoxicating effects of thujone is not supported by the present data.

  10. Inhibition of the production of endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor by cannabinoid receptor agonists

    PubMed Central

    Fleming, I; Schermer, B; Popp, R; Busse, R

    1999-01-01

    The endogenous cannabinoid, anandamide, has been reported to induce an 'endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF)-like' relaxation in vitro. We therefore investigated the effects of cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonists; HU 210, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and anandamide, and a CB1 antagonist/inverse agonist, SR 141716A, on nitric oxide (NO) and EDHF-mediated relaxation in precontracted rings of porcine coronary, rabbit carotid and mesenteric arteries. In rings of mesenteric artery HU 210 and Δ9-THC induced endothelium- and cyclo-oxygenase-independent relaxations which were sensitive to SR 141716A. Anandamide (0.03–30 μM) induced a slowly developing, endothelium-independent relaxation which was abolished by diclofenac and was therefore mediated by cyclo-oxygenase product(s). None of the CB1 agonists tested affected the tone of precontracted rings of rabbit carotid or porcine coronary artery. In endothelium-intact segments, HU 210, Δ9-THC and anandamide did not affect NO-mediated responses but under conditions of continuous NO synthase/cyclo-oxygenase blockade, significantly inhibited acetylcholine and bradykinin-induced relaxations which are attributed to the production of EDHF. The effects of HU 210 and Δ9-THC were not observed when experiments were performed in the presence of SR 141716A suggesting the involvement of the CB1 receptor. In a patch clamp bioassay of EDHF production, HU 210 decreased the EDHF-mediated hyperpolarization of detector smooth muscle cells when applied to the donor segment but was without effect on the membrane potential of detector cells. The inhibition of EDHF production was unrelated to alterations in Ca2+-signalling or cytochrome P450 activity. These results suggest that the activation of endothelial CB1 receptors appears to be negatively coupled to the production of EDHF. PMID:10193775

  11. Adolescent brain maturation, the endogenous cannabinoid system and the neurobiology of cannabis-induced schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Bossong, Matthijs G; Niesink, Raymond J M

    2010-11-01

    Cannabis use during adolescence increases the risk of developing psychotic disorders later in life. However, the neurobiological processes underlying this relationship are unknown. This review reports the results of a literature search comprising various neurobiological disciplines, ultimately converging into a model that might explain the neurobiology of cannabis-induced schizophrenia. The article briefly reviews current insights into brain development during adolescence. In particular, the role of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate in experience-dependent maturation of specific cortical circuitries is examined. The review also covers recent hypotheses regarding disturbances in strengthening and pruning of synaptic connections in the prefrontal cortex, and the link with latent psychotic disorders. In the present model, cannabis-induced schizophrenia is considered to be a distortion of normal late postnatal brain maturation. Distortion of glutamatergic transmission during critical periods may disturb prefrontal neurocircuitry in specific brain areas. Our model postulates that adolescent exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive substance in cannabis, transiently disturbs physiological control of the endogenous cannabinoid system over glutamate and GABA release. As a result, THC may adversely affect adolescent experience-dependent maturation of neural circuitries within prefrontal cortical areas. Depending on dose, exact time window and duration of exposure, this may ultimately lead to the development of psychosis or schizophrenia. The proposed model provides testable hypotheses which can be addressed in future studies, including animal experiments, reanalysis of existing epidemiological data, and prospective epidemiological studies in which the role of the dose-time-effect relationship should be central. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Post-natal development of type 1 cannabinoid receptor immunoreactivity in the rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Morozov, Yury M; Freund, Tamás F

    2003-09-01

    Type 1 cannabinoid receptors, selectively located on axon terminals of GABAergic interneurons in the hippocampus, are known to be involved in endocannabinoid-mediated retrograde synaptic signalling. The question arises whether type 1 cannabinoid receptors appear on these axons during early post-natal life, when GABAergic transmission is still depolarizing, and whether there are any developmental changes in the cellular or subcellular expression pattern. Here we demonstrate, using single and double immunocytochemical methods at the light and electron microscopic levels, that type 1 cannabinoid receptors are expressed only on the membrane of axon terminals and pre-terminal axons but not on the soma-dendritic membrane at all examined timepoints between post-natal days 0 and 20, similar to the adult distribution. All type 1 cannabinoid receptor-positive boutons formed symmetric synapses. Granular labelling in the somata was already strong at post-natal day 0 and corresponded to multivesicular bodies, lysosomes, Golgi apparatus and rough endoplasmic reticulum. The type 1 cannabinoid receptor-positive axons were shown to originate largely from cholecystokinin-immunoreactive basket and bistratified neurons throughout the hippocampus (90% of all type 1 cannabinoid receptor-containing cells) and dentate gyrus (70% of all type 1 cannabinoid receptor-containing cells). The remaining cells have not been identified but probably belong to the somatostatin- and/or neuropeptide Y-containing subsets, as cholecystokinin-negative, type 1 cannabinoid receptor-positive axons have been observed in strata moleculare and lacunosum-moleculare of the dentate gyrus and CA1-3, respectively, where these neurons are known to arborize. No cell types were found that expressed type 1 cannabinoid receptors transiently at some developmental stage. We conclude that the cellular and subcellular pattern of type 1 cannabinoid receptor expression during early post-natal life is similar to the adult

  13. Endogenous modulators of synaptic transmission: cannabinoid regulation in the supraoptic nucleus.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Neil A; Kuzmiski, J Brent; Naderi, Nima; Schwab, Yannick; Pittman, Quentin J

    2008-01-01

    The magnocellular neurons of the hypothalamic supraoptic nucleus (SON) are a major source of both systemic and central release of the neurohypophyseal peptides, oxytocin (OXT) and arginine-vasopressin (AVP). Both OXT and AVP are released from the somatodendritic compartment of magnocellular neurons and act within the SON to modulate the electrophysiological function of these cells. Cannabinoids (CBs) affect hormonal output and the SON may represent a neural substrate through which CBs exert specific physiological and behavioural effects. Dynamic modulation of synaptic inputs is a fundamental mechanism through which neuronal output is controlled. Dendritically released OXT acts on autoreceptors to generate endocannabinoids (eCBs) which modify both excitatory and inhibitory inputs to OXT neurons through actions on presynaptic CB receptors. As such, OXT and eCBs cooperate to shape the electrophysiological properties of magnocellular OXT neurons, regulating the physiological function of this nucleus. Further study of eCB signalling in the SON, including its interaction with AVP neurons, promises to extend our understanding of the synaptic regulation of SON physiological function.

  14. Cannabinoid receptor ligands suppress memory-related effects of nicotine in the elevated plus maze test in mice.

    PubMed

    Biala, Grazyna; Kruk, Marta

    2008-10-10

    The purpose of the experiments was to examine the memory-related effects of nicotine using the mouse elevated plus maze. It has been shown that the acute doses of nicotine (0.1 and 0.5 mg/kg) significantly decreased the time of transfer latency (TL2) on the retention trial, indicating that nicotine improved memory processes. Similarly, acute doses of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist AM 251 (0.5, 1, 1.5 and 3 mg/kg) significantly decreased TL2 values. WIN55,212-2, a non-selective CB cannabinoid receptor agonist, at any dose tested (0.25, 0.5 and 1 mg/kg), did not provoke any effect in this model. Moreover, the acute injection of both WIN55,212-2 (0.25 and 0.5 mg/kg) and AM 251 (0.25 mg/kg), prior to injections of nicotine (0.1 and 0.5 mg/kg), significantly prevented nicotine-induced memory improvement. The results of this study provide clear evidence that the endogenous cannabinoid system participates in the responses induced by nicotine on memory-related behaviour in mice.

  15. The CB1 cannabinoid receptor C-terminus regulates receptor desensitization in autaptic hippocampal neurones.

    PubMed

    Straiker, Alex; Wager-Miller, Jim; Mackie, Ken

    2012-04-01

    The cannabinoid CB(1) receptor is the chief mediator of the CNS effects of cannabinoids. In cell culture model systems, CB(1) receptors both desensitize and internalize on activation. Previous work suggests that the extreme carboxy-terminus of this receptor regulates internalization via phosphorylation of residues clustered within this region. Mutational analysis of the carboxy-terminus of CB(1) receptors has demonstrated that the last six serine/threonine residues are necessary for agonist-induced internalization. However, the structural determinants of CB(1) receptor internalization are also dependent on the local cellular environment. The importance of cell context on CB(1) receptor function calls for an investigation of the functional roles of these residues in neurones. To determine the structural requirements of CB(1) internalization in neurones, we evaluated the signalling properties of carboxy-terminal mutated CB(1) receptors expressed in cultured autaptic hippocampal neurones, using electrophysiological methods. CB(1) receptors transfected into CB(1) knockout neurones signalled and desensitized as did wild-type neurones, allowing us to test specific CB(1) receptor mutations. Deletion of the last 13 residues yielded a CB(1) receptor that inhibited excitatory postsynaptic currents but did not desensitize. Furthermore, mutation of the final six serine and threonine residues to alanines resulted in a non-desensitizing receptor. In contrast, CB(1) receptors lacking residues 419-460, leaving the last 14 residues intact, did desensitize. The distal thirteen residues of CB(1) receptors are crucial for their desensitization in cultured neurones. Furthermore, this desensitization is likely to follow phosphorylation of serines and threonines within this region. This article is part of a themed section on Cannabinoids in Biology and Medicine. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2012.165.issue-8. To view Part I of Cannabinoids

  16. Lack of positive allosteric modulation of mutated alpha(1)S267I glycine receptors by cannabinoids.

    PubMed

    Foadi, Nilufar; Leuwer, Martin; Demir, Reyhan; Dengler, Reinhard; Buchholz, Vanessa; de la Roche, Jeanne; Karst, Matthias; Haeseler, Gertrud; Ahrens, Jörg

    2010-05-01

    Loss of inhibitory synaptic transmission within the dorsal horn of the spinal cord plays a key role in the development of chronic pain following inflammation or nerve injury. Inhibitory postsynaptic transmission in the adult spinal cord involves mainly glycine. Ajulemic acid and HU210 are non-psychotropic, synthetic cannabinoids. Cannabidiol is a non-psychotropic plant constituent of cannabis sativa. There are hints that non-cannabinoid receptor mechanisms of these cannabinoids might be mediated via glycine receptors. In this study, we investigated the impact of the amino acid residue serine at position 267 on the glycine-modulatory effects of ajulemic acid, cannabidiol and HU210. Mutated alpha(1)S267I glycine receptors transiently expressed in HEK293 cells were studied by utilising the whole-cell clamp technique. The mutation of the alpha(1) subunit TM2 serine residue to isoleucine abolished the co-activation and the direct activation of the glycine receptor by the investigated cannabinoids. The nature of the TM2 (267) residue of the glycine alpha(1) subunit is crucial for the glycine-modulatory effect of ajulemic acid, cannabidiol and HU210. An investigation of the impact of such mutations on the in vivo interaction of cannabinoids with glycine receptors should permit a better understanding of the molecular determinants of action of cannabinoids.

  17. CB2 cannabinoid receptor agonist enantiomers HU-433 and HU-308: An inverse relationship between binding affinity and biological potency

    PubMed Central

    Smoum, Reem; Baraghithy, Saja; Chourasia, Mukesh; Breuer, Aviva; Mussai, Naama; Attar-Namdar, Malka; Kogan, Natalya M.; Raphael, Bitya; Bolognini, Daniele; Cascio, Maria G.; Marini, Pietro; Pertwee, Roger G.; Shurki, Avital; Mechoulam, Raphael; Bab, Itai

    2015-01-01

    Activation of the CB2 receptor is apparently an endogenous protective mechanism. Thus, it restrains inflammation and protects the skeleton against age-related bone loss. However, the endogenous cannabinoids, as well as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main plant psychoactive constituent, activate both cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. HU-308 was among the first synthetic, selective CB2 agonists. HU-308 is antiosteoporotic and antiinflammatory. Here we show that the HU-308 enantiomer, designated HU-433, is 3–4 orders of magnitude more potent in osteoblast proliferation and osteoclast differentiation culture systems, as well as in mouse models, for the rescue of ovariectomy-induced bone loss and ear inflammation. HU-433 retains the HU-308 specificity for CB2, as shown by its failure to bind to the CB1 cannabinoid receptor, and has no activity in CB2-deficient cells and animals. Surprisingly, the CB2 binding affinity of HU-433 in terms of [3H]CP55,940 displacement and its effect on [35S]GTPγS accumulation is substantially lower compared with HU-308. A molecular-modeling analysis suggests that HU-433 and -308 have two different binding conformations within CB2, with one of them possibly responsible for the affinity difference, involving [35S]GTPγS and cAMP synthesis. Hence, different ligands may have different orientations relative to the same binding site. This situation questions the usefulness of universal radioligands for comparative binding studies. Moreover, orientation-targeted ligands have promising potential for the pharmacological activation of distinct processes. PMID:26124120

  18. CB2 cannabinoid receptor agonist enantiomers HU-433 and HU-308: An inverse relationship between binding affinity and biological potency.

    PubMed

    Smoum, Reem; Baraghithy, Saja; Chourasia, Mukesh; Breuer, Aviva; Mussai, Naama; Attar-Namdar, Malka; Kogan, Natalya M; Raphael, Bitya; Bolognini, Daniele; Cascio, Maria G; Marini, Pietro; Pertwee, Roger G; Shurki, Avital; Mechoulam, Raphael; Bab, Itai

    2015-07-14

    Activation of the CB2 receptor is apparently an endogenous protective mechanism. Thus, it restrains inflammation and protects the skeleton against age-related bone loss. However, the endogenous cannabinoids, as well as Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main plant psychoactive constituent, activate both cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. HU-308 was among the first synthetic, selective CB2 agonists. HU-308 is antiosteoporotic and antiinflammatory. Here we show that the HU-308 enantiomer, designated HU-433, is 3-4 orders of magnitude more potent in osteoblast proliferation and osteoclast differentiation culture systems, as well as in mouse models, for the rescue of ovariectomy-induced bone loss and ear inflammation. HU-433 retains the HU-308 specificity for CB2, as shown by its failure to bind to the CB1 cannabinoid receptor, and has no activity in CB2-deficient cells and animals. Surprisingly, the CB2 binding affinity of HU-433 in terms of [(3)H]CP55,940 displacement and its effect on [(35)S]GTPγS accumulation is substantially lower compared with HU-308. A molecular-modeling analysis suggests that HU-433 and -308 have two different binding conformations within CB2, with one of them possibly responsible for the affinity difference, involving [(35)S]GTPγS and cAMP synthesis. Hence, different ligands may have different orientations relative to the same binding site. This situation questions the usefulness of universal radioligands for comparative binding studies. Moreover, orientation-targeted ligands have promising potential for the pharmacological activation of distinct processes.

  19. Presynaptic TRPV1 vanilloid receptor function is age- but not CB1 cannabinoid receptor-dependent in the rodent forebrain.

    PubMed

    Köles, László; Garção, Pedro; Zádori, Zoltán S; Ferreira, Samira G; Pinheiro, Bárbara S; da Silva-Santos, Carla S; Ledent, Catherine; Köfalvi, Attila

    2013-08-01

    Neocortical and striatal TRPV1 (vanilloid or capsaicin) receptors (TRPV1Rs) are excitatory ligand-gated ion channels, and are implicated in psychiatric disorders. However, the purported presynaptic neuromodulator role of TRPV1Rs in glutamatergic, serotonergic or dopaminergic terminals of the rodent forebrain remains little understood. With the help of patch-clamp electrophysiology and neurochemical approaches, we mapped the age-dependence of presynaptic TRPV1R function, and furthermore, we aimed at exploring whether the presence of CB1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs) influences the function of the TRPV1Rs, as both receptor types share endogenous ligands. We found that the major factor which affects presynaptic TRPV1R function is age: by post-natal day 13, the amplitude of capsaicin-induced release of dopamine and glutamate is halved in the rat striatum, and two weeks later, capsaicin already loses its effect. However, TRPV1R receptor function is not enhanced by chemical or genetic ablation of the CB1Rs in dopaminergic, glutamatergic and serotonergic terminals of the mouse brain. Altogether, our data indicate a possible neurodevelopmental role for presynaptic TRPV1Rs in the rodent brain, but we found no cross-talk between TRPV1Rs and CB1Rs in the same nerve terminal.

  20. Minireview: From the Bench, Toward the Clinic: Therapeutic Opportunities for Cannabinoid Receptor Modulation

    PubMed Central

    Picone, Robert P.

    2015-01-01

    The effects of cannabinoids have been known for centuries and over the past several decades two G protein-coupled receptors, CB1 and CB2, that are responsible for their activity have been identified. Endogenous lipid-derived cannabinergic agents have been found, biosynthetic and catabolic machinery has been characterized, and synthetic agents have been designed to modulate these receptors. Selective agents including agonists, antagonists, inverse agonists, and novel allosteric modulators targeting either CB1 or CB2 have been developed to inhibit or augment their basal tone. As a result, the role these receptors play in human physiology and their potential therapeutic applications in disease states are being elucidated. The CB1 receptor, although ubiquitous, is densely expressed in the brain, and CB2 is largely found on cells of immune origin. This minireview highlights the role of CB1 in excitotoxic assaults in the brain and its potential to limit addiction liability. In addition, it will examine the relationship between receptor activity and stimulation of insulin release from pancreatic β-cells, insulin resistance, and feeding behavior leading toward obesity. The roles of CB2 in the neuropathology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and in the central manifestations of chronic HIV infection potentially converge at inflammatory cell activation, thereby providing an opportunity for intervention. Last, CB2 modulation is discussed in the context of an experimental model of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Achieving exquisite receptor selectivity and elucidating the mechanisms underlying receptor inhibition and activation will be essential for the development of the next generation of cannabinergic-based therapeutic agents. PMID:25866875

  1. Brain cannabinoid receptor 2: expression, function and modulation.

    PubMed

    Chen, De-Jie; Gao, Ming; Gao, Fen-Fei; Su, Quan-Xi; Wu, Jie

    2017-03-01

    Cannabis sativa (marijuana) is a fibrous flowering plant that produces an abundant variety of molecules, some with psychoactive effects. At least 4% of the world's adult population uses cannabis annually, making it one of the most frequently used illicit drugs in the world. The psychoactive effects of cannabis are mediated primarily through cannabinoid receptor (CBR) subtypes. The prevailing view is that CB1Rs are mainly expressed in the central neurons, whereas CB2Rs are predominantly expressed in peripheral immune cells. However, this traditional view has been challenged by emerging strong evidence that shows CB2Rs are moderately expressed and function in specific brain areas. New evidence has demonstrated that brain CB2Rs modulate animal drug-seeking behaviors, suggesting that these receptors may exist in brain regions that regulate drug addiction. Recently, we further confirmed that functional CB2Rs are expressed in mouse ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons and that the activation of VTA CB2Rs reduces neuronal excitability and cocaine-seeking behavior. In addition, CB2R-mediated modulation of hippocampal CA3 neuronal excitability and network synchronization has been reported. Here, we briefly summarize recent lines of evidence showing how CB2Rs modulate function and pathophysiology in the CNS.

  2. Brain cannabinoid receptor 2: expression, function and modulation

    PubMed Central

    Chen, De-jie; Gao, Ming; Gao, Fen-fei; Su, Quan-xi; Wu, Jie

    2017-01-01

    Cannabis sativa (marijuana) is a fibrous flowering plant that produces an abundant variety of molecules, some with psychoactive effects. At least 4% of the world's adult population uses cannabis annually, making it one of the most frequently used illicit drugs in the world. The psychoactive effects of cannabis are mediated primarily through cannabinoid receptor (CBR) subtypes. The prevailing view is that CB1Rs are mainly expressed in the central neurons, whereas CB2Rs are predominantly expressed in peripheral immune cells. However, this traditional view has been challenged by emerging strong evidence that shows CB2Rs are moderately expressed and function in specific brain areas. New evidence has demonstrated that brain CB2Rs modulate animal drug-seeking behaviors, suggesting that these receptors may exist in brain regions that regulate drug addiction. Recently, we further confirmed that functional CB2Rs are expressed in mouse ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons and that the activation of VTA CB2Rs reduces neuronal excitability and cocaine-seeking behavior. In addition, CB2R-mediated modulation of hippocampal CA3 neuronal excitability and network synchronization has been reported. Here, we briefly summarize recent lines of evidence showing how CB2Rs modulate function and pathophysiology in the CNS. PMID:28065934

  3. Cannabinoid receptor agonists potentiate action potential-independent release of GABA in the dentate gyrus through a CB1 receptor-independent mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Hofmann, Mackenzie E; Bhatia, Chinki; Frazier, Charles J

    2011-01-01

    Abstract We report a novel excitatory effect of cannabinoid agonists on action potential-independent GABAergic transmission in the rat dentate gyrus. Specifically, we find that both WIN55,212-2 and anandamide increase the frequency of miniature IPSCs (mIPSCs) recorded from hilar mossy cells without altering event amplitude, area, rise time, or decay. The effect of WIN55,212-2 on mIPSCs is insensitive to AM251 and preserved in CB1−/− animals, indicating that it does not depend on activation of CB1 receptors. It is also insensitive to AM630 and unaffected by capsazepine suggesting that neither CB2 nor TRPV1 receptors are involved. Further, it is blocked by pre-incubation in suramin and by a selective protein kinase A inhibitor (H-89), and is mimicked (and occluded) by bath application of forskolin. Similar CB1 receptor-independent facilitation of exocytosis is not apparent when recording evoked IPSCs in the presence of AM251, suggesting that the exocytotic mechanism that produces WIN55,212-2 sensitive mIPSCs is distinct from that which produces CB1 sensitive and action potential-dependent release. Despite clear independence from action potentials, WIN55,212-2 mediated facilitation of mIPSCs requires calcium, and yet is insensitive to chelation of calcium in the postsynaptic cell. Finally, we demonstrate that both bath application of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and depolarization-induced release of endogenous cannabinoids have minimal effect on mIPSC frequency. Cumulatively, our results indicate that cannabinoid ligands can selectively facilitate action potential-independent exocytosis of GABA in the rat dentate gyrus, and further emphasize that this new cannabinoid sensitive signalling system is distinct from previously described CB1 receptor-dependent systems in numerous respects. PMID:21646412

  4. The CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR 141716A affects A9 dopamine neuronal activity in the rat.

    PubMed

    Gueudet, C; Santucci, V; Rinaldi-Carmona, M; Soubrié, P; Le Fur, G

    1995-07-10

    CB1 receptors and their putative natural ligand anandamide, have been tentatively involved in the control of midbrain extrapyramidal function. Electrophysiological activity of dopamine neurones was measured after acute and repeated administration of the CB1 receptor antagonist SR 141716A (0.3-3 mg kg-1) in rats. Acute SR 141716A increased A9, but not A10 cell population response without affecting either their spontaneous firing rate or apomorphine-induced rate inhibition and prevented amphetamine-induced inhibition of A9, but not of A10 cell firing. After repeated administration SR 141716A (1 or 5 mg kg-1) decreased population response of A9 cells, which was reversed by apomorphine. These results suggest that CB1 receptor blockade by SR 141716A interrupts a cannabinoid-like endogenous tone controlling extrapyramidal function.

  5. Cytotoxicity of synthetic cannabinoids found in "Spice" products: the role of cannabinoid receptors and the caspase cascade in the NG 108-15 cell line.

    PubMed

    Tomiyama, Kenichi; Funada, Masahiko

    2011-11-10

    The worldwide distribution of "Spice" that contains synthetic cannabinoids with a pharmacological activity similar to Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol has been reported. In the current study, we evaluated the cytotoxicity of the synthetic cannabinoids, CP-55,940, CP-47,497 and CP-47,497-C8 towards NG 108-15 cells and investigated their mechanism of cytotoxicity. CP-55,940, CP-47,497 and CP-47,497-C8 were all cytotoxic for NG 108-15 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. The cytotoxicity of these synthetic cannabinoids was suppressed by preincubation with the selective CB₁ receptor antagonist AM251, but not with the selective CB₂ receptor antagonist AM630. Preincubation with a caspase-3 inhibitor significantly suppressed the cytotoxicity of these synthetic cannabinoids for NG 108-15 cells. Induction of apoptosis by these cannabinoids was also confirmed by staining of the cells with annexin V. Our results indicate that the cytotoxicity of synthetic cannabinoids towards NG 108-15 cells is mediated by the CB₁ receptor, but not by the CB₂ receptor, and further suggest that caspase-cascades may play an important role in the apoptosis induced by these synthetic cannabinoids.

  6. Agonist-dependent cannabinoid receptor signalling in human trabecular meshwork cells

    PubMed Central

    McIntosh, B T; Hudson, B; Yegorova, S; Jollimore, C A B; Kelly, M E M

    2007-01-01

    Background and purpose: Trabecular meshwork (TM) is an ocular tissue involved in the regulation of aqueous humour outflow and intraocular pressure (IOP). CB1 receptors (CB1) are present in TM and cannabinoid administration decreases IOP. CB1 signalling was investigated in a cell line derived from human TM (hTM). Experimental approach: CB1 signalling was investigated using ratiometric Ca2+ imaging, western blotting and infrared In-Cell Western analysis. Key results: WIN55212-2, a synthetic aminoalkylindole cannabinoid receptor agonist (10–100 μM) increased intracellular Ca2+ in hTM cells. WIN55,212-2-mediated Ca2+ increases were blocked by AM251, a CB1 antagonist, but were unaffected by the CB2 antagonist, AM630. The WIN55,212-2-mediated increase in [Ca2+]i was pertussis toxin (PTX)-insensitive, therefore, independent of Gi/o coupling, but was attenuated by a dominant negative Gαq/11 subunit, implicating a Gq/11 signalling pathway. The increase in [Ca2+]i was dependent upon PLC activation and mobilization of intracellular Ca2+ stores. A PTX-sensitive increase in extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) phosphorylation was also observed in response to WIN55,212-2, indicative of a Gi/o signalling pathway. CB1-Gq/11 coupling to activate PLC-dependent increases in Ca2+ appeared to be specific to WIN55,212-2 and were not observed with other CB1 agonists, including CP55,940 and methanandamide. CP55940 produced PTX-sensitive increases in [Ca2+]i at concentrations ≥15 μM, and PTX-sensitive increases in ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Conclusions and implications: This study demonstrates that endogenous CB1 couples to both Gq/11 and Gi/o in hTM cells in an agonist-dependent manner. Cannabinoid activation of multiple CB1 signalling pathways in TM tissue could lead to differential changes in aqueous humour outflow and IOP. PMID:17922024

  7. 21 CFR 862.3870 - Cannabinoid test system.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... measure any of the cannabinoids, hallucinogenic compounds endogenous to marihuana, in serum, plasma... cannabinoid use or abuse and in monitoring levels of cannabinoids during clinical investigational use. (b...

  8. 21 CFR 862.3870 - Cannabinoid test system.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... measure any of the cannabinoids, hallucinogenic compounds endogenous to marihuana, in serum, plasma... cannabinoid use or abuse and in monitoring levels of cannabinoids during clinical investigational use. (b...

  9. 21 CFR 862.3870 - Cannabinoid test system.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... measure any of the cannabinoids, hallucinogenic compounds endogenous to marihuana, in serum, plasma... cannabinoid use or abuse and in monitoring levels of cannabinoids during clinical investigational use. (b...

  10. 21 CFR 862.3870 - Cannabinoid test system.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... measure any of the cannabinoids, hallucinogenic compounds endogenous to marihuana, in serum, plasma... cannabinoid use or abuse and in monitoring levels of cannabinoids during clinical investigational use. (b...

  11. 21 CFR 862.3870 - Cannabinoid test system.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... measure any of the cannabinoids, hallucinogenic compounds endogenous to marihuana, in serum, plasma... cannabinoid use or abuse and in monitoring levels of cannabinoids during clinical investigational use. (b...

  12. Cannabinoid Receptors Are Overexpressed in CLL but of Limited Potential for Therapeutic Exploitation

    PubMed Central

    Le, Trang; Gruber, Michaela; Pausz, Clemens; Staber, Philipp; Jäger, Ulrich; Vanura, Katrina

    2016-01-01

    The cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CNR1&2) are overexpressed in a variety of malignant diseases and cannabinoids can have noteworthy impact on tumor cell viability and tumor growth. Patients diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) present with very heterogeneous disease characteristics translating into highly differential risk properties. To meet the urgent need for refinement in risk stratification at diagnosis and the search for novel therapies we studied CNR expression and response to cannabinoid treatment in CLL. Expression levels of CNR1&2 were determined in 107 CLL patients by real-time PCR and analyzed with regard to prognostic markers and survival. Cell viability of primary CLL cells was determined in suspension and co-culture after incubation in increasing cannabinoid concentrations under normal and reduced serum conditions and in combination with fludarabine. Impact of cannabinoids on migration of CLL cells towards CXCL12 was determined in transwell plates. We found CNR1&2 to be overexpressed in CLL compared to healthy B-cells. Discriminating between high and low expressing subgroups, only high CNR1 expression was associated with two established high risk markers and conferred significantly shorter overall and treatment free survival. Viability of CLL primary cells was reduced in a dose dependent fashion upon incubation with cannabinoids, however, healthy cells were similarly affected. Under serum reduced conditions, no significant differences were observed within suspension and co-culture, respectively, however, the feeder layer contributed significantly to the survival of CLL cells compared to suspension culture conditions. No significant differences were observed when treating CLL cells with cannabinoids in combination with fludarabine. Interestingly, biologic activity of cannabinoids was independent of both CNR1&2 expression. Finally, we did not observe an inhibition of CXCL12-induced migration by cannabinoids. In contrast to other tumor

  13. The endocannabinoid system and rimonabant: a new drug with a novel mechanism of action involving cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonism--or inverse agonism--as potential obesity treatment and other therapeutic use.

    PubMed

    Xie, S; Furjanic, M A; Ferrara, J J; McAndrew, N R; Ardino, E L; Ngondara, A; Bernstein, Y; Thomas, K J; Kim, E; Walker, J M; Nagar, S; Ward, S J; Raffa, R B

    2007-06-01

    There is considerable evidence that the endocannabinoid (endogenous cannabinoid) system plays a significant role in appetitive drive and associated behaviours. It is therefore reasonable to hypothesize that the attenuation of the activity of this system would have therapeutic benefit in treating disorders that might have a component of excess appetitive drive or over-activity of the endocannabinoid system, such as obesity, ethanol and other drug abuse, and a variety of central nervous system and other disorders. Towards this end, antagonists of cannabinoid receptors have been designed through rational drug discovery efforts. Devoid of the abuse concerns that confound and impede the use of cannabinoid receptor agonists for legitimate medical purposes, investigation of the use of cannabinoid receptor antagonists as possible pharmacotherapeutic agents is currently being actively investigated. The compound furthest along this pathway is rimonabant, a selective CB(1) (cannabinoid receptor subtype 1) antagonist, or inverse agonist, approved in the European Union and under regulatory review in the United States for the treatment of obesity. This article summarizes the basic science of the endocannabinoid system and the therapeutic potential of cannabinoid receptor antagonists, with emphasis on the treatment of obesity.

  14. A potential role for cannabinoid receptors in the therapeutic action of fenofibrate.

    PubMed

    Priestley, Richard S; Nickolls, Sarah A; Alexander, Stephen P H; Kendall, David A

    2015-04-01

    Cannabinoids are reported to have actions through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), which led us to investigate PPAR agonists for activity at the cannabinoid receptors. Radio-ligand binding and functional assays were conducted using human recombinant cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) or cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptors, as well as the guinea pig isolated ileum, using the full agonist CP55940 as a positive control. The PPAR-α agonist fenofibrate exhibited submicromolar affinity for both receptors (pKi CB1, 6.3 ± 0.1; CB2, 7.7 ± 0.1). Functionally, fenofibrate acted as an agonist at the CB2 receptor (pEC50, 7.7 ± 0.1) and a partial agonist at the CB1 receptor, although with a decrease in functional response at higher concentrations, producing bell-shaped concentration-response curves. High concentrations of fenofibrate were able to increase the dissociation rate constant for [(3)H]-CP55940 at the CB1 receptor, (kfast without: 1.2 ± 0.2/min; with: 3.8 ± 0.1 × 10(-2)/min) and decrease the maximal response to CP55940 (Rmax, 86 ± 2%), which is consistent with a negative allosteric modulator. Fenofibrate also reduced electrically induced contractions in isolated guinea pig ileum via CB1 receptors (pEC50, 6.0 ± 0.4). Fenofibrate is thus identified as an example of a new class of cannabinoid receptor ligand and allosteric modulator, with the potential to interact therapeutically with cannabinoid receptors in addition to its primary PPAR target. © FASEB.

  15. Novel adamantyl cannabinoids as CB1 receptor probes.

    PubMed

    Thakur, Ganesh A; Bajaj, Shama; Paronis, Carol; Peng, Yan; Bowman, Anna L; Barak, Lawrence S; Caron, Marc G; Parrish, Demon; Deschamps, Jeffrey R; Makriyannis, Alexandros

    2013-05-23

    In previous studies, compound 1 (AM411), a 3-(1-adamantyl) analogue of the phytocannabinoid (-)-Δ(8)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(8)-THC), was shown to have improved affinity and selectivity for the CB1 receptor. In this work, we further explored the role of the 1-adamantyl group at the C-3 position in a series of tricyclic cannabinoid analogues modified at the 9-northern aliphatic hydroxyl (NAH) position. Of these, 9-hydroxymethyl hexahydrocannabinol 11 (AM4054) exhibited high CB1 affinity and full agonist profile. In the cAMP assay, the 9-hydroxymethyl cannabinol analogue 24 (AM4089) had a partial agonist profile, with high affinity and moderate selectivity for rCB1 over hCB2. In vivo results in rat models of hypothermia and analgesia were congruent with in vitro data. Our in vivo data indicate that 3-(1-adamantyl) substitution, within NAH cannabinergics, imparts improved pharmacological profiles when compared to the corresponding, traditionally used 3-dimethylheptyl analogues and identifies 11 and 24 as potentially useful in vivo CB1 cannabinergic probes.

  16. Cannabinoid receptor 2 protects against acute experimental sepsis in mice.

    PubMed

    Gui, Huan; Sun, Yang; Luo, Zhu-Min; Su, Ding-Feng; Dai, Sheng-Ming; Liu, Xia

    2013-01-01

    The systemic inflammatory response syndrome can be self-limited or can progress to severe sepsis and septic shock. Despite significant advances in the understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of septic shock, it is still one of the most frequent and serious problems confronting clinicians in the treatments. And the effects of cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2R) on the sepsis still remain undefined. The present study was aimed to explore the role and mechanism of CB2R in acute sepsis model of mice. Here, we found that mice were more vulnerable for lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) induced death and inflammation after CB2R deletion (CB2R(-/-)). CB2R agonist, GW405833, could significantly extend the survival rate and decrease serum proinflammatory cytokines in LPS-treated mice. GW405833 dose-dependently inhibits proinflammatory cytokines release in splenocytes and peritoneal macrophages as well as splenocytes proliferation, and these effects were partly abolished in CB2R(-/-) splenocytes but completely abolished in CB2R(-/-) peritoneal macrophages. Further studies showed that GW405833 inhibits LPS-induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and STAT3 and blocks I κ B α degradation and NF- κB p65 nuclear translocation in macrophages. All data together showed that CB2R provides a protection and is a potential therapeutic target for the sepsis.

  17. Cannabinoids as therapeutic agents in cancer: current status and future implications

    PubMed Central

    Ganju, Ramesh K.

    2014-01-01

    The pharmacological importance of cannabinoids has been in study for several years. Cannabinoids comprise of (a) the active compounds of the Cannabis sativa plant, (b) endogenous as well as (c) synthetic cannabinoids. Though cannabinoids are clinically used for anti-palliative effects, recent studies open a promising possibility as anti-cancer agents. They have been shown to possess anti-proliferative and anti-angiogenic effects in vitro as well as in vivo in different cancer models. Cannabinoids regulate key cell signaling pathways that are involved in cell survival, invasion, angiogenesis, metastasis, etc. There is more focus on CB1 and CB2, the two cannabinoid receptors which are activated by most of the cannabinoids. In this review article, we will focus on a broad range of cannabinoids, their receptor dependent and receptor independent functional roles against various cancer types with respect to growth, metastasis, energy metabolism, immune environment, stemness and future perspectives in exploring new possible therapeutic opportunities. PMID:25115386

  18. Cannabinoids as therapeutic agents in cancer: current status and future implications.

    PubMed

    Chakravarti, Bandana; Ravi, Janani; Ganju, Ramesh K

    2014-08-15

    The pharmacological importance of cannabinoids has been in study for several years. Cannabinoids comprise of (a) the active compounds of the Cannabis sativa plant, (b) endogenous as well as (c) synthetic cannabinoids. Though cannabinoids are clinically used for anti-palliative effects, recent studies open a promising possibility as anti-cancer agents. They have been shown to possess anti-proliferative and anti-angiogenic effects in vitro as well as in vivo in different cancer models. Cannabinoids regulate key cell signaling pathways that are involved in cell survival, invasion, angiogenesis, metastasis, etc. There is more focus on CB1 and CB2, the two cannabinoid receptors which are activated by most of the cannabinoids. In this review article, we will focus on a broad range of cannabinoids, their receptor dependent and receptor independent functional roles against various cancer types with respect to growth, metastasis, energy metabolism, immune environment, stemness and future perspectives in exploring new possible therapeutic opportunities.

  19. Characterisation of cannabinoid 1 receptor expression in the perikarya, and peripheral and spinal processes of primary sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Veress, Gabor; Meszar, Zoltan; Muszil, Dora; Avelino, Antonio; Matesz, Klara; Mackie, Ken; Nagy, Istvan

    2013-05-01

    The cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor is expressed by a sub-population of primary sensory neurons. However, data on the neurochemical identity of the CB1 receptor-expressing cells, and CB1 receptor expression by the peripheral and central terminals of these neurons are inconsistent and limited. We characterised CB1 receptor expression in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and spinal cord at the lumbar 4-5 level, as well as in the urinary bladder and glabrous skin of the hindpaw. About 1/3 of DRG neurons exhibited immunopositivity for the CB1 receptor, the majority of which showed positivity for the nociceptive markers calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) or/and Griffonia (bandeiraea) simplicifolia IB4 isolectin-binding. Virtually all CB1 receptor-immunostained fibres showed immunopositivity for CGRP in the skin, while very few did in the urinary bladder. No CB1 receptor-immunopositive nerve fibres were IB4 positive in either peripheral tissue. Spinal laminae I and II-outer showed the highest density of CB1 receptor-immunopositive punctae, the majority of which showed positivity for CGRP or/and IB4 binding. These data indicate that a major sub-population of nociceptive primary sensory neurons expresses CB1 receptors that are transported to both peripheral and central terminals of these cells. Therefore, the present data suggest that manipulation of endogenous CB1 receptor agonist levels in these areas may significantly reduce nociceptive input into the spinal cord.

  20. Spatial Distribution of the Cannabinoid Type 1 and Capsaicin Receptors May Contribute to the Complexity of Their Crosstalk

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jie; Varga, Angelika; Selvarajah, Srikumaran; Jenes, Agnes; Dienes, Beatrix; Sousa-Valente, Joao; Kulik, Akos; Veress, Gabor; Brain, Susan D.; Baker, David; Urban, Laszlo; Mackie, Ken; Nagy, Istvan

    2016-01-01

    The cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor and the capsaicin receptor (TRPV1) exhibit co-expression and complex, but largely unknown, functional interactions in a sub-population of primary sensory neurons (PSN). We report that PSN co-expressing CB1 receptor and TRPV1 form two distinct sub-populations based on their pharmacological properties, which could be due to the distribution pattern of the two receptors. Pharmacologically, neurons respond either only to capsaicin (COR neurons) or to both capsaicin and the endogenous TRPV1 and CB1 receptor ligand anandamide (ACR neurons). Blocking or deleting the CB1 receptor only reduces both anandamide- and capsaicin-evoked responses in ACR neurons. Deleting the CB1 receptor also reduces the proportion of ACR neurons without any effect on the overall number of capsaicin-responding cells. Regarding the distribution pattern of the two receptors, neurons express CB1 and TRPV1 receptors either isolated in low densities or in close proximity with medium/high densities. We suggest that spatial distribution of the CB1 receptor and TRPV1 contributes to the complexity of their functional interaction. PMID:27653550

  1. Spatial Distribution of the Cannabinoid Type 1 and Capsaicin Receptors May Contribute to the Complexity of Their Crosstalk.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jie; Varga, Angelika; Selvarajah, Srikumaran; Jenes, Agnes; Dienes, Beatrix; Sousa-Valente, Joao; Kulik, Akos; Veress, Gabor; Brain, Susan D; Baker, David; Urban, Laszlo; Mackie, Ken; Nagy, Istvan

    2016-09-22

    The cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor and the capsaicin receptor (TRPV1) exhibit co-expression and complex, but largely unknown, functional interactions in a sub-population of primary sensory neurons (PSN). We report that PSN co-expressing CB1 receptor and TRPV1 form two distinct sub-populations based on their pharmacological properties, which could be due to the distribution pattern of the two receptors. Pharmacologically, neurons respond either only to capsaicin (COR neurons) or to both capsaicin and the endogenous TRPV1 and CB1 receptor ligand anandamide (ACR neurons). Blocking or deleting the CB1 receptor only reduces both anandamide- and capsaicin-evoked responses in ACR neurons. Deleting the CB1 receptor also reduces the proportion of ACR neurons without any effect on the overall number of capsaicin-responding cells. Regarding the distribution pattern of the two receptors, neurons express CB1 and TRPV1 receptors either isolated in low densities or in close proximity with medium/high densities. We suggest that spatial distribution of the CB1 receptor and TRPV1 contributes to the complexity of their functional interaction.

  2. In silico mapping of allosteric ligand binding sites in type-1 cannabinoid receptor.

    PubMed

    Sabatucci, Annalaura; Tortolani, Daniel; Dainese, Enrico; Maccarrone, Mauro

    2017-08-17

    The recent resolution of the crystal structure of type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1 ), and the discovery of novel modulators for this target open the way to the possibility of elucidating the structural requirements for CB1 binding, and thereby facilitate a rational drug design. Compounds that target the orthosteric site of CB1 in some cases have shown side effects. Allosteric modulators could potentially avoid these side effects by influencing binding and/or efficacy of orthosteric ligands. Here, we summarize and compare previous data on different putative allosteric binding sites observed in CB1 homology models with an in silico docking study of the recently published crystal structure of the same receptor on endogenous and natural hydrophobic ligands that act as positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) and negative allosteric modulators (NAMs) of CB1 . In particular, a lipid-exposed pocket targeted by most of the tested molecules is reported and discussed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  3. β-caryophyllene ameliorates cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity in a cannabinoid 2 receptor-dependent manner

    PubMed Central

    Horváth, Béla; Mukhopadhyay, Partha; Kechrid, Malek; Patel, Vivek; Tanashian, Galin; Wink, David A.; Gertsch, Jürg; Pacher, Pál

    2012-01-01

    (E)-β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a natural sequiterpene found in many essential oils of spice (best known for contributing to the spiciness of black pepper) and food plants with recognized anti-inflammatory properties. Recently it was shown that BCP is a natural agonist of endogenous cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptors, which are expressed in immune cells and mediate anti-inflammatory effects. In this study we aimed to test the effects of BCP in a clinically relevant murine model of nephropathy (induced by the widely used antineoplastic drug cisplatin) in which the tubular injury is largely dependent on inflammation and oxidative/nitrative stress. β-caryophyllene dose-dependently ameliorated cisplatin-induced kidney dysfunction, morphological damage, and renal inflammatory response (chemokines MCP-1 and MIP-2, cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β, adhesion molecule ICAM-1, and neutrophil and macrophage infiltration). It also markedly mitigated oxidative/nitrative stress (NOX-2, NOX-4 expression, 4-HNE and 3-NT content) and cell death. The protective effects of BCP against biochemical and histological markers of nephropathy were absent in CB2 knockout mice. Thus, BCP may be an excellent therapeutic agent to prevent cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity through a CB2 receptor dependent pathway. Given the excellent safety profile of BCP in humans it has tremendous therapeutic potential in multitude of diseases associated with inflammation and oxidative stress. PMID:22326488

  4. β-Caryophyllene ameliorates cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity in a cannabinoid 2 receptor-dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Horváth, Béla; Mukhopadhyay, Partha; Kechrid, Malek; Patel, Vivek; Tanchian, Galin; Wink, David A; Gertsch, Jürg; Pacher, Pál

    2012-04-15

    (E)-β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a natural sesquiterpene found in many essential oils of spice (best known for contributing to the spiciness of black pepper) and food plants with recognized anti-inflammatory properties. Recently it was shown that BCP is a natural agonist of endogenous cannabinoid 2 (CB(2)) receptors, which are expressed in immune cells and mediate anti-inflammatory effects. In this study we aimed to test the effects of BCP in a clinically relevant murine model of nephropathy (induced by the widely used antineoplastic drug cisplatin) in which the tubular injury is largely dependent on inflammation and oxidative/nitrative stress. β-caryophyllene dose-dependently ameliorated cisplatin-induced kidney dysfunction, morphological damage, and renal inflammatory response (chemokines MCP-1 and MIP-2, cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β, adhesion molecule ICAM-1, and neutrophil and macrophage infiltration). It also markedly mitigated oxidative/nitrative stress (NOX-2 and NOX-4 expression, 4-HNE and 3-NT content) and cell death. The protective effects of BCP against biochemical and histological markers of nephropathy were absent in CB(2) knockout mice. Thus, BCP may be an excellent therapeutic agent to prevent cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity through a CB(2) receptor-dependent pathway. Given the excellent safety profile of BCP in humans it has tremendous therapeutic potential in a multitude of diseases associated with inflammation and oxidative stress.

  5. Involvement of cannabinoid CB1 receptors in the antinociceptive effect of dipyrone.

    PubMed

    Elmas, Pinar; Ulugol, Ahmet

    2013-11-01

    Cannabinoid CB1 receptors have been implicated in the antinociceptive effect of paracetamol. In the current study, we examined whether blockade of CB1 receptors prevent the analgesic activity of dipyrone, in a similar way to paracetamol. Hot-plate and tail-flick tests were used to assess the antinociceptive activity in mice. Dipyrone and WIN 55,212-2, a cannabinoid agonist, exerted significant antinociceptive effects in both hot-plate and tail flick tests. The CB1 receptor antagonist, AM-251 (3 mg/kg), at a dose which had no effect when used alone, did not alter the antinociceptive effect of dipyrone, whereas completely prevented the antinociceptive activity of WIN 55,212-2 in both thermal antinociceptive tests. Our findings suggest that, unlike paracetamol, cannabinoid CB1 receptors do not participate in the antinociceptive action of dipyrone when acute pain tests used.

  6. Cannabidiol inhibits human glioma cell migration through a cannabinoid receptor-independent mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Vaccani, Angelo; Massi, Paola; Colombo, Arianna; Rubino, Tiziana; Parolaro, Daniela

    2005-01-01

    We evaluated the ability of cannabidiol (CBD) to impair the migration of tumor cells stimulated by conditioned medium. CBD caused concentration-dependent inhibition of the migration of U87 glioma cells, quantified in a Boyden chamber. Since these cells express both cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors in the membrane, we also evaluated their engagement in the antimigratory effect of CBD. The inhibition of cell was not antagonized either by the selective cannabinoid receptor antagonists SR141716 (CB1) and SR144528 (CB2) or by pretreatment with pertussis toxin, indicating no involvement of classical cannabinoid receptors and/or receptors coupled to Gi/o proteins. These results reinforce the evidence of antitumoral properties of CBD, demonstrating its ability to limit tumor invasion, although the mechanism of its pharmacological effects remains to be clarified. PMID:15700028

  7. Involvement of cannabinoid receptors in infrasonic noise-induced neuronal impairment.

    PubMed

    Ma, Lei; He, Hua; Liu, Xuedong; Zhang, Guangyun; Li, Li; Yan, Song; Li, Kangchu; Shi, Ming

    2015-08-01

    Excessive exposure to infrasound, a kind of low-frequency but high-intensity sound noise generated by heavy transportations and machineries, can cause vibroacoustic disease which is a progressive and systemic disease, and finally results in the dysfunction of central nervous system. Our previous studies have demonstrated that glial cell-mediated inflammation may contribute to infrasound-induced neuronal impairment, but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Here, we show that cannabinoid (CB) receptors may be involved in infrasound-induced neuronal injury. After exposure to infrasound at 16 Hz and 130 dB for 1-14 days, the expression of CB receptors in rat hippocampi was gradually but significantly decreased. Their expression levels reached the minimum after 7- to 14-day exposure during which the maximum number of apoptotic cells was observed in the CA1. 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), an endogenous agonist for CB receptors, reduced the number of infrasound-triggered apoptotic cells, which, however, could be further increased by CB receptor antagonist AM251. In animal behavior performance test, 2-AG ameliorated the infrasound-impaired learning and memory abilities of rats, whereas AM251 aggravated the infrasound-impaired learning and memory abilities of rats. Furthermore, the levels of proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-1β in the CA1 were upregulated after infrasound exposure, which were attenuated by 2-AG but further increased by AM251. Thus, our results provide the first evidence that CB receptors may be involved in infrasound-induced neuronal impairment possibly by affecting the release of proinflammatory cytokines.

  8. Centrally mediated antinociceptive effects of cannabinoid receptor ligands in rat models of nociception

    PubMed Central

    Hama, Aldric; Sagen, Jacqueline

    2011-01-01

    The endogenous nonapeptide hemopressin (HE) demonstrates potent block of the cannabinoid subtype-1 (CB1) receptor in vitro and robust antinociception in vivo. The current study evaluated the effects of centrally administered HE in mechanistically distinct pre-clinical rat models of pain—the hot plate test and the hind paw formalin test. The non-subtype selective CB receptor agonist WIN 55,212-2 was tested concurrently as a positive control. In the hot plate test, neither intrathecal (i.t.) HE nor WIN 55,212-2 significantly altered the latency to respond to noxious heat. By contrast, i.t. HE and WIN 55,212-2 significantly reduced pain-related behaviors in the formalin test. Possible HE functionality as a CB1 receptor antagonist at the spinal level was evaluated in the formalin test. Intrathecal pretreatment with HE did not attenuate the antinociceptive effect of i.t. WIN 55,212-2. However, pretreatment with the CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant did; i.t. rimonabant pretreatment was not antinociceptive. Potential supraspinal antinociceptive activity of HE was also evaluated. Whereas intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of WIN 55,212-2 reduced pain-related behaviors in the formalin test, interestingly, i.c.v. HE increased behaviors. In the current study, an antinociceptive effect with the CB receptor ligand HE was obtained under the specific condition of tissue injury and not in the uninjured state. Thus, HE could be a useful analgesic peptide with a novel spinal mechanism of action. PMID:21958947

  9. Identification of essential cannabinoid-binding domains: structural insights into early dynamic events in receptor activation.

    PubMed

    Shim, Joong-Youn; Bertalovitz, Alexander C; Kendall, Debra A

    2011-09-23

    The classical cannabinoid agonist HU210, a structural analog of (-)-Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, binds to brain cannabinoid (CB1) receptors and activates signal transduction pathways. To date, an exact molecular description of the CB1 receptor is not yet available. Utilizing the minor binding pocket of the CB1 receptor as the primary ligand interaction site, we explored HU210 binding using lipid bilayer molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Among the potential ligand contact residues, we identified residues Phe-174(2.61), Phe-177(2.64), Leu-193(3.29), and Met-363(6.55) as being critical for HU210 binding by mutational analysis. Using these residues to guide the simulations, we determined essential cannabinoid-binding domains in the CB1 receptor, including the highly sought after hydrophobic pocket important for the binding of the C3 alkyl chain of classical and nonclassical cannabinoids. Analyzing the simulations of the HU210-CB1 receptor complex, the CP55940-CB1 receptor complex, and the (-)-Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol-CB1 receptor complex, we found that the positioning of the C3 alkyl chain and the aromatic stacking between Trp-356(6.48) and Trp-279(5.43) is crucial for the Trp-356(6.48) rotamer change toward receptor activation through the rigid-body movement of H6. The functional data for the mutant receptors demonstrated reductions in potency for G protein activation similar to the reductions seen in ligand binding affinity for HU210.

  10. Evaluation of first generation synthetic cannabinoids on binding at non-cannabinoid receptors and in a battery of in vivo assays in mice.

    PubMed

    Wiley, Jenny L; Lefever, Timothy W; Marusich, Julie A; Grabenauer, Megan; Moore, Katherine N; Huffman, John W; Thomas, Brian F

    2016-11-01

    Anecdotal reports suggest that abused synthetic cannabinoids produce cannabis-like "highs," but some of their effects may also differ from traditional cannabinoids such as Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This study examined the binding affinities of first-generation indole-derived synthetic cannabinoids at cannabinoid and noncannabinoid receptors and their effects in a functional observational battery (FOB) and drug discrimination in mice. All seven compounds, except JWH-391, had favorable affinity (≤159 nM) for both cannabinoid receptors. In contrast, binding at noncannabinoid receptors was absent or weak. In the FOB, THC and the six active compounds disrupted behaviors in CNS activation and muscle tone/equilibrium domains. Unlike THC, however, synthetic cannabinoids impaired behavior across a wider dose and domain range, producing autonomic effects and signs of CNS excitability and sensorimotor reactivity. In addition, mice acquired JWH-018 discrimination, and THC and JWH-073 produced full substitution whereas the 5-HT2B antagonist mianserin did not substitute in mice trained to discriminate JWH-018 or THC. Urinary metabolite analysis showed that the compounds were extensively metabolized, with metabolites that could contribute to their in vivo effects. Together, these results show that, while first-generation synthetic cannabinoids shared some effects that were similar to those of THC, they also possessed effects that differed from traditional cannabinoids. The high nanomolar (or absent) affinities of these compounds at receptors for most major neurotransmitters suggests that these divergent effects may be related to the greater potencies and/or efficacies at CB1 receptors; however, action(s) at noncannabinoid receptors yet to be assessed or via different signaling pathways cannot be ruled out.

  11. Involvement of cannabinoid receptors in gut motility and visceral perception

    PubMed Central

    Hornby, Pamela J; Prouty, Stephen M

    2004-01-01

    From a historical perspective to the present day, all the evidence suggests that activation of cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) is beneficial for gut discomfort and pain, which are symptoms related to dysmotility and visceral perception. CBRs comprise G-protein coupled receptors that are predominantly in enteric and central neurones (CB1R) and immune cells (CB2R). In the last decade, evidence obtained from the use of selective agonists and inverse agonists/antagonists indicates that manipulation of CB1R can alter (1) sensory processing from the gut, (2) brain integration of brain-gut axis, (3) extrinsic control of the gut and (4) intrinsic control by the enteric nervous system. The extent to which activation of CB1R is most critical at these different levels is related to the region of the GI tract. The upper GI tract is strongly influenced by CB1R activation on central vagal pathways, whereas intestinal peristalsis can be modified by CB1R activation in the absence of extrinsic input. Actions at multiple levels make the CB1R a target for the treatment of functional bowel disorders, such as IBS. Since low-grade inflammation may act as a trigger for occurrence of IBS, CB2R modulation could be beneficial, but there is little supporting evidence for this yet. The challenge is to accomplish CBR activation while minimizing adverse effects and abuse liabilities. Potential therapeutic strategies involve increasing signaling by endocannabinoids (EC). The pathways involved in the biosynthesis, uptake and degradation of EC provide opportunities for modulation of CB1R and some recent evidence with inhibitors of EC uptake and metabolism suggest that these could be exploited for therapeutic gain. PMID:15100166

  12. CB1 cannabinoid receptor-mediated aggressive behavior.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Arias, Marta; Navarrete, Francisco; Daza-Losada, Manuel; Navarro, Daniela; Aguilar, María A; Berbel, Pere; Miñarro, José; Manzanares, Jorge

    2013-12-01

    This study examined the role of cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1r) in aggressive behavior. Social encounters took place in grouped and isolated mice lacking CB1r (CB1KO) and in wild-type (WT) littermates. Cognitive impulsivity was evaluated in the delayed reinforcement task (DRT). Gene expression analyses of monoaminooxidase-A (MAO-A), catechol-o-methyl-transferase (COMT), 5-hydroxytriptamine transporter (5-HTT) and 5-HT1B serotonergic receptor (5HT1Br) in the median and dorsal raphe nuclei (MnR and DR, respectively) and in the amygdala (AMY) were performed by real time-PCR. Double immunohistochemistry studies evaluated COMT and CB1r co-localization in the raphe nuclei and in the cortical (ACo), basomedian (BMA) and basolateral (BLA) amygdaloid nuclei. The behavioral effects of the CB1r agonist ACEA (1 and 2 mg/kg) on aggression were also evaluated in isolated OF1 mice. CB1KO mice housed in groups showed higher levels of offensive aggression. Isolation increased aggressive behavior only in WT. In grouped CB1KO mice COMT gene expression was significantly higher in the MnR and DR, while MAO-A gene expression was lower in the MnR. Gene expression of 5HT1Br, COMT and MAO-A was higher in the amygdala of CB1KO mice. CB1r double-immunohistochemistry revealed cytoplasmic-labeled COMT-ir cells in the raphe nuclei and in the ACo, BMA and BLA. CB1r immunolabeling was observed only in ACo, BMA and BLA, where it was localized in axons and buttons. The density of labeled processes increased in BLA. Acute administration of the CB1 agonist ACEA (2 mg/kg) significantly decreased the aggression levels of OF1 mice. These results suggest that CB1r plays an important role in social interaction and aggressive behavior.

  13. Frequency-Dependent Cannabinoid Receptor-Independent Modulation of Glycine Receptors by Endocannabinoid 2-AG.

    PubMed

    Lozovaya, Natalia; Mukhtarov, Marat; Tsintsadze, Timur; Ledent, Catherine; Burnashev, Nail; Bregestovski, Piotr

    2011-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are known as retrograde messengers, being released from the postsynaptic neuron and acting on specific presynaptic G-protein-coupled cannabinoid (CB) receptors to decrease neurotransmitter release. Also, at physiologically relevant concentrations cannabinoids can directly modulate the function of voltage-gated and receptor-operated ion channels. Using patch-clamp recording we analyzed the consequences of the direct action of an endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), on the functional properties of glycine receptor channels (GlyRs) and ionic currents in glycinergic synapses. At physiologically relevant concentrations (0.1-1 μM), 2-AG directly affected the functions of recombinant homomeric α1H GlyR: it inhibited peak amplitude and dramatically enhanced desensitization. The action of 2-AG on GlyR-mediated currents developed rapidly, within ∼300 ms. Addition of 1 μM 2-AG strongly facilitated the depression of glycine-induced currents during repetitive (4-10 Hz) application of short (2 ms duration) pulses of glycine to outside-out patches. In brainstem slices from CB1 receptor knockout mice, 2-AG significantly decreased the extent of facilitation of synaptic currents in hypoglossal motoneurons during repetitive (10-20 Hz) stimulation. These observations suggest that endocannabinoids can modulate postsynaptic metaplasticity of glycinergic synaptic currents in a CB1 receptor-independent manner.

  14. Co-expression of the human cannabinoid receptor coding region splice variants (hCB₁) affects the function of hCB₁ receptor complexes.

    PubMed

    Bagher, Amina M; Laprairie, Robert B; Kelly, Melanie E M; Denovan-Wright, Eileen M

    2013-12-05

    The human type 1 cannabinoid (hCB1) receptor is expressed at high levels in the central nervous system. mRNA variants of the coding region of this receptor, human cannabinoid hCB1a and hCB1b receptors, have been identified, their biological function remains unclear. The present study demonstrated that the three human cannabinoid hCB1 coding region variants are expressed in the human and monkey (Macaca fascicularis) brain. Western blot analyses of homogenates from different regions of the monkey brain demonstrated that proteins with the expected molecular weights of the cannabinoid CB1, CB1a and CB1b receptors were co-expressed throughout the brain. Given the co-localization of these receptors, we hypothesized that physical interactions between the three splice variants may affect cannabinoid pharmacology. The human cannabinoid hCB1, hCB1a, and hCB1b receptors formed homodimers and heterodimers, as determined by BRET in transiently transfected HEK 293A cells. We found that the co-expression of the human cannabinoid hCB1 and each of the splice variants increased cell surface expression of the human cannabinoid hCB1 receptor and increased Gi/o-dependent ERK phosphorylation in response to cannabinoid agonists. Therefore, the human cannabinoid hCB1 coding region splice variants play an important physiological role in the activity of the endocannabinoid system.

  15. Synthetic cannabinoids: In silico prediction of the cannabinoid receptor 1 affinity by a quantitative structure-activity relationship model.

    PubMed

    Paulke, Alexander; Proschak, Ewgenij; Sommer, Kai; Achenbach, Janosch; Wunder, Cora; Toennes, Stefan W

    2016-03-14

    The number of new synthetic psychoactive compounds increase steadily. Among the group of these psychoactive compounds, the synthetic cannabinoids (SCBs) are most popular and serve as a substitute of herbal cannabis. More than 600 of these substances already exist. For some SCBs the in vitro cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) affinity is known, but for the majority it is unknown. A quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) model was developed, which allows the determination of the SCBs affinity to CB1 (expressed as binding constant (Ki)) without reference substances. The chemically advance template search descriptor was used for vector representation of the compound structures. The similarity between two molecules was calculated using the Feature-Pair Distribution Similarity. The Ki values were calculated using the Inverse Distance Weighting method. The prediction model was validated using a cross validation procedure. The predicted Ki values of some new SCBs were in a range between 20 (considerably higher affinity to CB1 than THC) to 468 (considerably lower affinity to CB1 than THC). The present QSAR model can serve as a simple, fast and cheap tool to get a first hint of the biological activity of new synthetic cannabinoids or of other new psychoactive compounds.

  16. The cannabinoid beta-caryophyllene (BCP) induces neuritogenesis in PC12 cells by a cannabinoid-receptor-independent mechanism.

    PubMed

    Santos, Neife Aparecida Guinaim; Martins, Nádia Maria; Sisti, Flávia Malvestio; Fernandes, Laís Silva; Ferreira, Rafaela Scalco; de Freitas, Osvaldo; Santos, Antônio Cardozo

    2017-01-05

    Beta-caryophyllene (BCP) is a phytocannabinoid whose neuroprotective activity has been mainly associated with selective activation of cannabinoid-type-2 (CB2) receptors, inhibition of microglial activation and decrease of inflammation. Here, we addressed the potential of BCP to induce neuritogenesis in PC12 cells, a model system for primary neuronal cells that express trkA receptors, respond to NGF and do not express CB2 receptors. We demonstrated that BCP increases the survival and activates the NGF-specific receptor trkA in NGF-deprived PC12 cells, without increasing the expression of NGF itself. The neuritogenic effect of BCP in PC12 cells was abolished by k252a, an inhibitor of the NGF-specific receptor trkA. Accordingly, BCP did not induce neuritogenesis in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells, a neuronal model that does not express trkA receptors and do not respond to NGF. Additionally, we demonstrated that BCP increases the expression of axonal-plasticity-associated proteins (GAP-43, synapsin and synaptophysin) in PC12 cells. It is known that these proteins are up-regulated by NGF in neurons and neuron-like cells, such as PC12 cells. Altogether, these findings suggest that BCP activates trka receptors and induces neuritogenesis by a mechanism independent of NGF or cannabinoid receptors. This is the first study to show such effects of BCP and their beneficial role in neurodegenerative processes should be further investigated. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  17. The effects of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol physical dependence on brain cannabinoid receptors.

    PubMed

    Breivogel, Christopher S; Scates, Susan M; Beletskaya, Irina O; Lowery, Olivia B; Aceto, Mario D; Martin, Billy R

    2003-01-17

    The effects of chronic Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol on cannabinoid receptor levels and receptor-G-protein coupling were investigated. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were infused continuously with low or high dose regimens of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol or vehicle for 4 days. Following treatment, rats were sacrificed for cannabinoid CB(1) receptor binding analysis or challenged with the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist, N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide HCl (SR141716A). The rats receiving Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol exhibited antagonist-precipitated withdrawal signs. Each brain region (cerebellum, cortex, hippocampus and basal ganglia) from high-dose rats showed 30-70% decreases in [3H] (-)-cis-3-[2-hydroxy-4-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)phenyl]-trans-4-(3-hydroxyphenyl)cyclohexanol (WIN55212-2) B(max) values, indicating receptor down-regulation. Most regions showed decreased WIN55212-2-stimulated [35S]guanosine-5'-O-3-thiotriphosphate (GTPgammaS) binding, indicating desensitization of cannabinoid CB(1) receptors. Additional receptor binding assays in cerebellar membranes showed a significantly greater decrease in agonist than in antagonist B(max) values, indicating a lower fraction of coupled receptors after treatment. Concentration-effect analysis of five agonists revealed that the treatment resulted in greater decreases in the efficacy of low-efficacy agonists.

  18. THE NEURONAL DISTRIBUTION OF CANNABINOID RECEPTOR TYPE 1 IN THE TRIGEMINAL GANGLION OF THE RAT

    PubMed Central

    PRICE, T. J.; HELESIC, G.; PARGHI, D.; HARGREAVES, K. M.; FLORES, C. M.

    2007-01-01

    Cannabinoid compounds have been shown to produce antinociception and antihyperalgesia by acting upon cannabinoid receptors located in both the CNS and the periphery. A potential mechanism by which cannabinoids could inhibit nociception in the periphery is the activation of cannabinoid receptors located on one or more classes of primary nociceptive neurons. To address this hypothesis, we evaluated the neuronal distribution of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) in the trigeminal ganglion (TG) of the adult rat through combined in situ hybridization (ISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC). CB1 receptor mRNA was localized mainly to medium and large diameter neurons of the maxillary and mandibular branches of the TG. Consistent with this distribution, in a de facto nociceptive sensory neuron population that exhibited vanilloid receptor type 1 immunoreactivity, colocalization with CB1 mRNA was also sparse (<5%). Furthermore, very few neurons (approximately 5%) in the peptidergic (defined as calcitonin gene-related peptide- or substance P-immunoreactive) or the isolectin B4-binding sensory neuron populations contained CB1 mRNA. In contrast, and consistent with the neuron-size distribution for CB1, nearly 75% of CB1-positive neurons exhibited N52-immunoreactivity, a marker of myelinated axons. These results indicate that in the rat TG, CB1 receptors are expressed predominantly in neurons that are not thought to subserve nociceptive neurotransmission in the noninjured animal. Taken together with the absence of an above background in situ signal for CB2 mRNA in TG neurons, these findings suggest that the peripherally mediated antinociceptive effects of cannabinoids may involve either as yet unidentified receptors or interaction with afferent neuron populations that normally subserve non-nociceptive functions. PMID:12849749

  19. Evidence for the putative cannabinoid receptor (GPR55)-mediated inhibitory effects on intestinal contractility in mice.

    PubMed

    Ross, Gracious R; Lichtman, Aron; Dewey, William L; Akbarali, Hamid I

    2012-01-01

    Cannabinoids inhibit intestinal motility via presynaptic cannabinoid receptor type I (CB1) in enteric neurons while cannabinoid receptor type II (CB2) receptors are located mainly in immune cells. The recently de-orphanized G-protein-coupled receptor, GPR55, has been proposed to be the 'third' cannabinoid receptor. Although gene expression of GPR55 is evident in the gut, functional evidence for GPR55 in the gut is unknown. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that GPR55 activation inhibits neurogenic contractions in the gut. We assessed the inhibitory effect of the atypical cannabinoid O-1602, a GPR55 agonist, in mouse colon. Isometric tension recordings in colonic tissue strips were used from either wild-type, GPR55(-/-) or CB1(-/-)/CB2(-/-) knockout mice. O-1602 inhibited the electrical field- induced contractions in the colon strips from wild-type and CB1(-/-)/CB2(-/-) in a concentration-dependent manner, suggesting a non-CB1/CB2 receptor-mediated prejunctional effect. The concentration-dependent response of O-1602 was significantly inhibited in GPR55(-/-) mice. O-1602 did not relax colonic strips precontracted with high K(+) (80 mmol/l), indicating no involvement of Ca(2+) channel blockade in O-1602-induced relaxation. However, 10 µmol/l O-1602 partially inhibited the exogenous acetylcholine (10 µmol/l)-induced contractions. Moreover, we also assessed the inhibitory effects of JWH015, a CB2/GPR55 agonist on neurogenic contractions of mouse ileum. Surprisingly, the effects of JWH015 were independent of the known cannabinoid receptors. Taken together, these findings suggest that activation of GPR55 leads to inhibition of neurogenic contractions in the gut and are predominantly prejunctional. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  20. The cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonists rimonabant (SR141716) and AM251 directly potentiate GABAA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Baur, R; Gertsch, J; Sigel, E

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Rimonabant (SR141716) and the structurally related AM251 are widely used in pharmacological experiments as selective cannabinoid receptor CB1 antagonists / inverse agonists. Concentrations of 0.5–10 µM are usually applied in in vitro experiments. We intended to show that these drugs did not act at GABAA receptors but found a significant positive allosteric modulation instead. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Recombinant GABAA receptors were expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Receptors were exposed to AM251 or rimonabant in the absence and presence of GABA. Standard electrophysiological techniques were used to monitor the elicited ionic currents. KEY RESULTS AM251 dose-dependently potentiated responses to 0.5 µM GABA at the recombinant α1β2γ2 GABAA receptor with an EC50 below 1 µM and a maximal potentiation of about eightfold. The Hill coefficient indicated that more than one binding site for AM251 was located in this receptor. Rimonabant had a lower affinity, but a fourfold higher efficacy. AM251 potentiated also currents mediated by α1β2, αxβ2γ2 (x = 2,3,5,6), α1β3γ2 and α4β2δ GABAA receptors, but not those mediated by α1β1γ2. Interestingly, the CB1 receptor antagonists LY320135 and O-2050 did not significantly affect α1β2γ2 GABAA receptor-mediated currents at concentrations of 1 µM. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS This study identified rimonabant and AM251 as positive allosteric modulators of GABAA receptors. Thus, potential GABAergic effects of commonly used concentrations of these compounds should be considered in in vitro experiments, especially at extrasynaptic sites where GABA concentrations are low. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on Cannabinoids in Biology and Medicine. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2012.165.issue-8. To view Part I of Cannabinoids in Biology and Medicine visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2011.163.issue-7 PMID:21470203

  1. β-arrestins: regulatory role and therapeutic potential in opioid and cannabinoid receptor-mediated analgesia.

    PubMed

    Raehal, Kirsten M; Bohn, Laura M

    2014-01-01

    Pain is a complex disorder with neurochemical and psychological components contributing to the severity, the persistence, and the difficulty in adequately treating the condition. Opioid and cannabinoids are two classes of analgesics that have been used to treat pain for centuries and are arguably the oldest of "pharmacological" interventions used by man. Unfortunately, they also produce several adverse side effects that can complicate pain management. Opioids and cannabinoids act at G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and much of their effects are mediated by the mu-opioid receptor (MOR) and cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R), respectively. These receptors couple to intracellular second messengers and regulatory proteins to impart their biological effects. In this chapter, we review the role of the intracellular regulatory proteins, β-arrestins, in modulating MOR and CB1R and how they influence the analgesic and side-effect profiles of opioid and cannabinoid drugs in vivo. This review of the literature suggests that the development of opioid and cannabinoid agonists that bias MOR and CB1R toward G protein signaling cascades and away from β-arrestin interactions may provide a novel mechanism by which to produce analgesia with less severe adverse effects.

  2. β-Arrestins: Regulatory Role and Therapeutic Potential in Opioid and Cannabinoid Receptor-Mediated Analgesia

    PubMed Central

    Bohn, Laura M.

    2016-01-01

    Pain is a complex disorder with neurochemical and psychological components contributing to the severity, the persistence, and the difficulty in adequately treating the condition. Opioid and cannabinoids are two classes of analgesics that have been used to treat pain for centuries and are arguably the oldest of “pharmacological” interventions used by man. Unfortunately, they also produce several adverse side effects that can complicate pain management. Opioids and cannabinoids act at G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and much of their effects are mediated by the mu-opioid receptor (MOR) and cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R), respectively. These receptors couple to intracellular second messengers and regulatory proteins to impart their biological effects. In this chapter, we review the role of the intracellular regulatory proteins, β-arrestins, in modulating MOR and CB1R and how they influence the analgesic and side-effect profiles of opioid and cannabinoid drugs in vivo. This review of the literature suggests that the development of opioid and cannabinoid agonists that bias MOR and CB1R toward G protein signaling cascades and away from β-arrestin interactions may provide a novel mechanism by which to produce analgesia with less severe adverse effects. PMID:24292843

  3. Nonpsychotropic cannabinoids, abnormal cannabidiol and canabigerol-dimethyl heptyl, act at novel cannabinoid receptors to reduce intraocular pressure.

    PubMed

    Szczesniak, Anna-Maria; Maor, Yehoshua; Robertson, Harold; Hung, Orlando; Kelly, Melanie E M

    2011-10-01

    The objective of our study was to examine the pharmacology of the intraocular pressure (IOP)-lowering actions of the behaviorally inactive cannabinoids, abnormal cannabidiol (abn-CBD), and a cannabigerol analog, cannabigerol-dimethyl heptyl (CBG-DMH), in comparison to that of the nonselective cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB(1)R) and CB(2)R agonist, WIN55,212-2, in Brown Norway rats. The IOP was measured noninvasively using a hand-held tonometer in nonanesthetized animals. The IOP measurements were taken every 15 min for a period of 2 h after drug administration. All drugs were administered via intraperitoneal (i.p.) injections, and abn-CBD and CBG-DMH were also given topically. Both abn-CBD and CBG-DMH reduced IOP when administrated i.p. at doses of ≥2.5 mg/kg or topically at concentrations of 1%-2%. The IOP-lowering effects of abn-CBD and CBG-DMH were reduced by i.p. administration of O-1918 (2.5 mg/kg), a selective antagonist of the abn-CBD-sensitive cannabinoid-related receptor (CBx), but were unaffected by the CB(1)R antagonist, AM251 (2.5 mg/kg), or the CB(2)R antagonist, AM630 (2.5 mg/kg). In contrast, the IOP-lowering action of WIN55,212-2 was completely blocked by the CB(1)R-selective antagonist, AM251, and was unaffected by the CBx receptor antagonist, O-1918. However, similar to the nonpsychotropic cannabinoids, the ocular hypotensive actions of WIN55,212-2 were also insensitive to block by the CB(2)R antagonist, AM630. Consistent with this, the selective CB(2)R agonist, HU-308 (2 mg/kg) failed to reduce IOP in Brown Norway rats. Concurrent application of a dose of WIN55,212-2 that was subthreshold to reduce IOP (0.25 mg/kg), together with a topical dose of either abn-CBD (0.5%) or CBG-DMH (0.25%), respectively, potentiated the ocular hypotensive effect of either compound applied alone. This study demonstrates that the atypical cannabinoid, abn-CBD, and the cannabigerol analog, CBG-DMH, decrease IOP in the normotensive Brown Norway rat eye independent of CB

  4. Cannabinoid Receptors in Regulating the GI Tract: Experimental Evidence and Therapeutic Relevance.

    PubMed

    Taschler, Ulrike; Hasenoehrl, Carina; Storr, Martin; Schicho, Rudolf

    2017-01-01

    Cannabinoid receptors are fundamentally involved in all aspects of intestinal physiology, such as motility, secretion, and epithelial barrier function. They are part of a broader entity, the so-called endocannabinoid system which also includes their endocannabinoid ligands and the ligands' synthesizing/degrading enzymes. The system has a strong impact on the pathophysiology of the gastrointestinal tract and is believed to maintain homeostasis in the gut by controlling hypercontractility and by promoting regeneration after injury. For instance, genetic knockout of cannabinoid receptor 1 leads to inflammation and cancer of the intestines. Derivatives of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, such as nabilone and dronabinol, activate cannabinoid receptors and have been introduced into the clinic to treat chemotherapy-induced emesis and loss of appetite; however, they may cause many psychotropic side effects. New drugs that interfere with endocannabinoid degradation to raise endocannabinoid levels circumvent this obstacle and could be used in the future to treat emesis, intestinal inflammation, and functional disorders associated with visceral hyperalgesia.

  5. Cannabinoid and heroin activation of mesolimbic dopamine transmission by a common mu1 opioid receptor mechanism.

    PubMed

    Tanda, G; Pontieri, F E; Di Chiara, G

    1997-06-27

    The effects of the active ingredient of Cannabis, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta9-THC), and of the highly addictive drug heroin on in vivo dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens were compared in Sprague-Dawley rats by brain microdialysis. Delta9-THC and heroin increased extracellular dopamine concentrations selectively in the shell of the nucleus accumbens; these effects were mimicked by the synthetic cannabinoid agonist WIN55212-2. SR141716A, an antagonist of central cannabinoid receptors, prevented the effects of Delta9-THC but not those of heroin. Naloxone, a generic opioid antagonist, administered systemically, or naloxonazine, an antagonist of micro1 opioid receptors, infused into the ventral tegmentum, prevented the action of cannabinoids and heroin on dopamine transmission. Thus, Delta9-THC and heroin exert similar effects on mesolimbic dopamine transmission through a common mu1 opioid receptor mechanism located in the ventral mesencephalic tegmentum.

  6. Selective Cannabinoid Receptor-1 Agonists Regulate Mast Cell Activation in an Oxazolone-Induced Atopic Dermatitis Model

    PubMed Central

    Nam, Gaewon; Jeong, Se Kyoo; Park, Bu Man; Lee, Sin Hee; Kim, Hyun Jong; Hong, Seung-Phil; Kim, Beomjoon

    2016-01-01

    Background Many inflammatory mediators, including various cytokines (e.g. interleukins and tumor necrosis factor [TNF]), inflammatory proteases, and histamine are released following mast cell activation. However, the endogenous modulators for mast cell activation and the underlying mechanism have yet to be elucidated. Endogenous cannabinoids such as palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide or AEA), were found in peripheral tissues and have been proposed to possess autacoid activity, implying that cannabinoids may downregulate mast cell activation and local inflammation. Objective In order to investigate the effect of cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1R) agonists on mast cell activation, AEA-derived compounds were newly synthesized and evaluated for their effect on mast cell activation. Methods The effects of selected compounds on FcεRI-induced histamine and β-hexosaminidase release were evaluated in a rat basophilic leukemia cell line (RBL-2H3). To further investigate the inhibitory effects of CB1R agonist in vivo, an oxazolone-induced atopic dermatitis mouse model was exploited. Results We found that CB1R inhibited the release of inflammatory mediators without causing cytotoxicity in RBL-2H3 cells and that CB1R agonists markedly and dose-dependently suppressed mast cell proliferation indicating that CB1R plays an important role in modulating antigen-dependent immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated mast cell activation. We also found that topical application of CB1R agonists suppressed the recruitment of mast cells into the skin and reduced the level of blood histamine. Conclusion Our results indicate that CB1R agonists down-regulate mast cell activation and may be used for relieving inflammatory symptoms mediated by mast cell activation, such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and contact dermatitis. PMID:26848215

  7. Endogenous toll-like receptor ligands and their biological significance

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Li; Wang, Liantang; Chen, Shangwu

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Toll-like receptors (TLRs), a family of pattern recognition receptors, recognize and respond to conserved components of microbes and play a crucial role in both innate and adaptive immunity. In addition to binding exogenous ligands derived from pathogens, TLRs interact with endogenous molecules released from damaged tissues or dead cells and regulate many sterile inflammation processes. Putative endogenous TLR ligands include proteins and peptides, polysaccharides and proteoglycan, nucleic acids and phospholipids, which are cellular components, particularly extracellular matrix degradation products. Accumulating evidence demonstrates that endogenous ligand-mediated TLR signalling is involved in pathological conditions such as tissue injury, repair and regeneration; autoimmune diseases and tumorigenesis. The ability of TLRs to recognize endogenous stimulators appears to be essential to their function in regulating non-infectious inflammation. In this review, we summarize current knowledge of endogenous TLR ligands and discuss the biological significance of TLR signalling triggered by endogenous ligands in several sterile inflammation conditions. PMID:20629986

  8. Loss of cannabinoid receptor CB1 induces preterm birth.

    PubMed

    Wang, Haibin; Xie, Huirong; Dey, Sudhansu K

    2008-10-03

    Preterm birth accounting approximate 10% of pregnancies in women is a tremendous social, clinical and economic burden. However, its underlying causes remain largely unknown. Emerging evidence suggests that endocannabinoid signaling via cannabinoid receptor CB1 play critical roles in multiple early pregnancy events in both animals and humans. Since our previous studies demonstrated that loss of CB1 defers the normal implantation window in mice, we surmised that CB1 deficiency would influence parturition events. Exploiting mouse models with targeted deletion of Cnr1, Cnr2 and Ptgs1 encoding CB1, CB2 and cyclooxygenase-1, respectively, we examined consequences of CB1 or CB2 silencing on the onset of parturition. We observed that genetic or pharmacological inactivation of CB1, but not CB2, induced preterm labor in mice. Radioimmunoassay analysis of circulating levels of ovarian steroid hormones revealed that premature birth resulting from CB1 inactivation is correlated with altered progesterone/estrogen ratios prior to parturition. More strikingly, the phenotypic defects of prolonged pregnancy length and parturition failure in mice missing Ptgs1 were corrected by introducing CB1 deficiency into Ptgs1 null mice. In addition, loss of CB1 resulted in aberrant secretions of corticotrophin-releasing hormone and corticosterone during late gestation. The pathophysiological significance of this altered corticotrophin-releasing hormone-driven endocrine activity in the absence of CB1 was evident from our subsequent findings that a selective corticotrophin-releasing hormone antagonist was able to restore the normal parturition timing in Cnr1 deficient mice. In contrast, wild-type females receiving excessive levels of corticosterone induced preterm birth. CB1 deficiency altering normal progesterone and estrogen levels induces preterm birth in mice. This defect is independent of prostaglandins produced by cyclooxygenase-1. Moreover, CB1 inactivation resulted in aberrant

  9. In vivo type 1 cannabinoid receptor availability in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Rawaha; Goffin, Karolien; Van den Stock, Jan; De Winter, François-Laurent; Cleeren, Evy; Bormans, Guy; Tournoy, Jos; Persoons, Philippe; Van Laere, Koen; Vandenbulcke, Mathieu

    2014-02-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an important modulatory and potentially neuroprotective homeostatic system in the brain. In Alzheimer's disease (AD), the role of type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB₁R) is unclear, with contradictory findings in post-mortem studies showing upregulation, downregulation or unchanged CB₁R status. We have investigated CB₁R availability in vivo in patients with AD, in relation to amyloid deposition, cognitive functioning and apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotype. Eleven AD patients and 7 healthy volunteers (HV) underwent combined [¹⁸F]MK-9470 PET and [¹¹C]PIB PET scans to assess CB₁R availability and amyloid deposition, respectively, and T1 volumetric MRI for partial volume correction. We found no difference in CB₁R availability between AD and HV, VOI-based fractional uptake values (FUR) were 0.043±0.01 for AD and 0.045±0.01 for controls (p=0.9). CB₁R availability did not correlate with neuropsychological test scores and was not modulated by ApoE genotype. As expected, global [¹¹C]PIB SUVR (standardized uptake value ratio) was increased in AD (SUVR 1.9±0.3) compared to HV (1.2±0.1) with p<0.001, but no correlation was found between amyloid β (Aβ) deposition and CB₁R availability. In conclusion, we found no in vivo evidence for a difference in CB₁R availability in AD compared to age-matched controls. Taken together with recently reported in vivo CB₁R changes in Parkinson's and Huntington's disease, these data suggest that the CB₁R is differentially involved in neurodegenerative disorders. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V. and ECNP.

  10. Cannabinoids and the gastrointestinal tract

    PubMed Central

    PERTWEE, R

    2001-01-01

    found to induce "withdrawal" contractions in cannabinoid tolerant guinea pig ileal MPLM. Further research is required to investigate the role both of endogenous cannabinoid receptor agonists and of non-CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the gastrointestinal tract. The extent to which the effects on gastrointestinal function of cannabinoid receptor agonists or antagonists/inverse agonists can be exploited therapeutically has yet to be investigated as has the extent to which these drugs can provoke unwanted effects in the gastrointestinal tract when used for other therapeutic purposes.

 PMID:11358910

  11. Cannabinoid receptor agonists reduce the short-term mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress linked to excitotoxicity in the rat brain.

    PubMed

    Rangel-López, E; Colín-González, A L; Paz-Loyola, A L; Pinzón, E; Torres, I; Serratos, I N; Castellanos, P; Wajner, M; Souza, D O; Santamaría, A

    2015-01-29

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved in a considerable number of physiological processes in the Central Nervous System. Recently, a modulatory role of cannabinoid receptors (CBr) and CBr agonists on the reduction of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAr) activation has been demonstrated. Quinolinic acid (QUIN), an endogenous analog of glutamate and excitotoxic metabolite produced in the kynurenine pathway (KP), selectively activates NMDAr and has been shown to participate in different neurodegenerative disorders. Since the early pattern of toxicity exerted by this metabolite is relevant to explain the extent of damage that it can produce in the brain, in this work we investigated the effects of the synthetic CBr agonist WIN 55,212-2 (WIN) and other agonists (anandamide or AEA, and CP 55,940 or CP) on early markers of QUIN-induced toxicity in rat striatal cultured cells and rat brain synaptosomes. WIN, AEA and CP exerted protective effects on the QUIN-induced loss of cell viability. WIN also preserved the immunofluorescent signals for neurons and CBr labeling that were decreased by QUIN. The QUIN-induced early mitochondrial dysfunction, lipid peroxidation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation were also partially or completely prevented by WIN pretreatment, but not when this CBr agonist was added simultaneously with QUIN to brain synaptosomes. These findings support a neuroprotective and modulatory role of cannabinoids in the early toxic events elicited by agents inducing excitotoxic processes.

  12. Cannabinoids Activate Monoaminergic Signaling to Modulate Key C. elegans Behaviors.

    PubMed

    Oakes, Mitchell D; Law, Wen Jing; Clark, Tobias; Bamber, Bruce A; Komuniecki, Richard

    2017-03-15

    Cannabis sativa, or marijuana, a popular recreational drug, alters sensory perception and exerts a range of potential medicinal benefits. The present study demonstrates that the endogenous cannabinoid receptor agonists 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA) activate a canonical cannabinoid receptor in Caenorhabditis elegans and also modulate monoaminergic signaling at multiple levels. 2-AG or AEA inhibit nociception and feeding through a pathway requiring the cannabinoid-like receptor NPR-19. 2-AG or AEA activate NPR-19 directly and cannabinoid-dependent inhibition can be rescued in npr-19-null animals by the expression of a human cannabinoid receptor, CB1, highlighting the orthology of the receptors. Cannabinoids also modulate nociception and locomotion through an NPR-19-independent pathway requiring an α2A-adrenergic-like octopamine (OA) receptor, OCTR-1, and a 5-HT1A-like serotonin (5-HT) receptor, SER-4, that involves a complex interaction among cannabinoid, octopaminergic, and serotonergic signaling. 2-AG activates OCTR-1 directly. In contrast, 2-AG does not activate SER-4 directly, but appears to enhance SER-4-dependent serotonergic signaling by increasing endogenous 5-HT. This study defines a conserved cannabinoid signaling system in C. elegans, demonstrates the cannabinoid-dependent activation of monoaminergic signaling, and highlights the advantages of studying cannabinoid signaling in a genetically tractable whole-animal model.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTCannabis sativa, or marijuana, causes euphoria and exerts a wide range of medicinal benefits. For years, cannabinoids have been studied at the cellular level using tissue explants with conflicting results. To better understand cannabinoid signaling, we have used the Caenorhabditis elegans model to examine the effects of cannabinoids on behavior. The present study demonstrates that mammalian cannabinoid receptor ligands activate a conserved cannabinoid signaling system in C. elegans and also

  13. Anandamide inhibits nuclear factor-kappaB activation through a cannabinoid receptor-independent pathway.

    PubMed

    Sancho, Rocío; Calzado, Marco A; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Appendino, Giovanni; Muñoz, Eduardo

    2003-02-01

    Anandamide (arachidonoylethanolamine, AEA), an endogenous agonist for both the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor and the vanilloid VR1 receptor, elicits neurobehavioral, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and proapoptotic effects. Because of the central role of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) in the inflammatory process and the immune response, we postulated that AEA might owe some of its effects to the suppression of NF-kappaB. This study shows that AEA inhibits tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha)-induced NF-kappaB activation by direct inhibition of the IkappaB kinase (IKK)beta and, to a lesser extent, the IKKalpha subunits of kappaB inhibitor (IkappaB) kinase complex, and that IKKs inhibition by AEA correlates with inhibition of IkappaBalpha degradation, NF-kappaB binding to DNA, and NF-kappaB-dependent transcription in TNFalpha-stimulated cells. AEA also prevents NF-kappaB-dependent reporter gene expression induced by mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase and NF-kappaB-inducing kinase. The NF-kappaB inhibitory activity of AEA was independent of CB(1) and CB(2) activation in TNFalpha-stimulated 5.1 and A549 cell lines, which do not express vanilloid receptor 1, and was not mediated by hydrolytic products formed through the activity of the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase. Chemical modification markedly affected AEA inhibitory activity on NF-kappaB, suggesting rather narrow structure-activity relationships and the specific interaction with a molecular target. Substitution of the alkyl moiety with less saturated fatty acids generally reduced or abolished activity. However, replacement of the ethanolamine "head" with a vanillyl group led to potent inhibition of TNFalpha-induced NF-kappaB-dependent transcription. These findings provide new mechanistic insights into the anti-inflammatory and proapoptotic activities of AEA, and should foster the synthesis of improved analogs amenable to pharmaceutical development as anti-inflammatory agents.

  14. Role of cannabinoid CB1 receptors on macronutrient selection and satiety in rats.

    PubMed

    Escartín-Pérez, Rodrigo Erick; Cendejas-Trejo, Nancy Mónica; Cruz-Martínez, Ana María; González-Hernández, Brenda; Mancilla-Díaz, Juan Manuel; Florán-Garduño, Benjamín

    2009-03-23

    It has been shown that endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids substantially increase feeding. Despite evidence for a role of endocannabinoids in mediating food ingestion, the mechanisms by which CB1 receptor agonists and antagonists have an effect on motivational processes (hunger, satiety) as well as on specific food preference are not entirely understood. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of systemic injection of the CB1 receptor agonist, ACEA, on protein, carbohydrates and fat intake as well as on the behavioural satiety sequence (BSS) in pre-satiated rats. Following a 120-min access to a three pure nutrient diet (protein, carbohydrates and fat) at dark onset, male Wistar rats were injected intraperitoneally with ACEA (0.1, 0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 mg/kg). Immediately after the injection, animals were placed into separate experimental cages with free access to food and a single 60-min period was video recorded to evaluate the BSS; protein, carbohydrates and fat intake (g) was measured at the same period of time. Intake of carbohydrates was significantly increased and this effect was prevented by the pre-treatment with AM 251. Analysis of BSS showed that administration of 0.5 mg/kg of ACEA reversed the satiation induced by food ingestion by increasing the time spent eating and decreasing the time resting without altering the overall activity. The present results suggest that the stimulation of food intake induced by activation of CB1 receptors involves a specific dietary component and behavioural selective mechanisms (stimulating hunger and inhibiting satiety).

  15. Identification of N‐arachidonoyl dopamine as a highly biased ligand at cannabinoid CB1 receptors

    PubMed Central

    Redmond, William J.; Cawston, Erin E.; Grimsey, Natasha L.; Stuart, Jordyn; Edington, Amelia R.; Glass, Michelle

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose N‐arachidonyl dopamine (NADA) has been identified as a putative endocannabinoid, but there is little information about which signalling pathways it activates. The purpose of this study was to identify the signalling pathways activated by NADA in vitro. Experimental Approach Human or rat cannabinoid CB1 receptors were expressed in AtT20, CHO or HEK 293 cells. NADA displacement of radiolabelled cannabinoids, and CB1 receptor mediated activation of K channels or ERK phosphorylation, release of intracellular calcium ([Ca]i) and modulation of adenylyl cyclase were measured in addition to NADA effects on CB1 receptor trafficking. Key Results At concentrations up to 30 μM, NADA failed to activate any signalling pathways via CB1 receptors, with the exception of mobilization of [Ca]i. The elevations of [Ca]i were insensitive to pertussis toxin, and reduced or abolished by blockers of Gq/11‐dependent processes including U73122, thapsigargin and a peptide antagonist of Gq/11 activation. Prolonged NADA incubation produced modest loss of cell surface CB1 receptors. The prototypical cannabinoid agonist CP55940 signalled as expected in all assays. Conclusions and Implications NADA is an ineffective agonist at most canonical cannabinoid receptor signalling pathways, but did promote mobilization of [Ca]i via Gq‐dependent processes and some CB1 receptor trafficking. This signalling profile is distinct from that of any known cannabinoid, and suggests that NADA may have a unique spectrum of effects in vivo. Our results also indicate that it may be possible to identify highly biased CB1 receptor ligands displaying a subset of the pharmacological or therapeutic effects usually attributed to CB1 ligands. PMID:26398720

  16. Cannabinoid Receptors Couple to NMDA Receptors to Reduce the Production of NO and the Mobilization of Zinc Induced by Glutamate

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Blázquez, Pilar; Rodríguez-Muñoz, María; Vicente-Sánchez, Ana

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Aims: Overactivation of glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) increases the cytosolic concentrations of calcium and zinc, which significantly contributes to neural death. Since cannabinoids prevent the NMDAR-mediated increase in cytosolic calcium, we investigated whether they also control the rise of potentially toxic free zinc ions, as well as the processes implicated in this phenomenon. Results: The cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CNR1) and NMDARs are cross-regulated in different regions of the nervous system. Cannabinoids abrogated the stimulation of the nitric oxide-zinc pathway by NMDAR, an effect that required the histidine triad nucleotide-binding protein 1 (HINT1). Conversely, NMDAR antagonism reduced the analgesia promoted by the CNR1 agonist WIN55,212-2 and impaired its capacity to internalize CNR1s. At the cell surface, CNR1s co-immunoprecipitated with the NR1 subunits of NMDARs, an association that diminished after the administration of NMDA in vivo or as a consequence of neuropathic overactivation of NMDARs, both situations in which cannabinoids do not control NMDAR activity. Under these circumstances, inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA) restored the association between CNR1s and NR1 subunits, and cannabinoids regained control over NMDAR activity. Notably, CNR1 and NR1 associated poorly in HINT1−/− mice, in which there was little cross-regulation between these receptors. Innovation: The CNR1 can regulate NMDAR function when the receptor is coupled to HINT1. Thus, internalization of CNR1s drives the co-internalization of the NR1 subunits, neutralizing the overactivation of NMDARs. Conclusion: Cannabinoids require the HINT1 protein to counteract the toxic effects of NMDAR-mediated NO production and zinc release. This study situates the HINT1 protein at the forefront of cannabinoid protection against NMDAR-mediated brain damage. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 19, 1766–1782. PMID:23600761

  17. Establishment of recombinant cannabinoid receptor assays and characterization of several natural and synthetic ligands.

    PubMed

    Geiger, Sarah; Nickl, Kathrin; Schneider, Erich H; Seifert, Roland; Heilmann, Jörg

    2010-08-01

    Cannabinoid receptors (CBR) are important drug targets for the treatment of various inflammatory, metabolic and neurological diseases. Therefore, sensitive test systems for the assessment of ligands are needed. In this study, a steady-state GTPase assay for human CBR subtypes 1 and 2 was developed to characterize the pharmacological property of ligands at a very proximal point of the signal transduction cascade. Establishing these in vitro test sytems, we studied cell or tissue membranes heterogenously or endogenously expressing CBR, such as CBR-infected Human Embryonic Kidney (HEK) 293 cells, rat cerebellum and spleen cells. The lack of effects in the GTPase assay and in [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding experiments in these expression system, directed us to use Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf9) cells. Co-expressing CBR, different Galpha-subunits, Gbetagamma heterodimer, and RGS (Regulator of G-protein signaling)-proteins in Sf9 cell membranes greatly improved the sensitivity of the assay, with highest GTPase activation in the CBR + Galpha(i2) + Gbeta(1)gamma(2) + RGS4 system. We examined exogenous and endogenous standard ligands as well as secondary metabolites as Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(9)-THC), dodeca-2E,4E-dienoic acid isobutylamide, an alkylamide from Echinacea purpurea, and an E. purpurea hexane extract according their agonistic and antagonistic properties. The suitability of the assay for screening procedures was also proven by detecting the activity of Delta(9)-THC in a matrix of other less active compounds (Delta(9)-THC-free Cannabis sativa extract). In conclusion, we have developed highly sensitive test systems for the analysis of CBR ligands.

  18. The cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716 blocks the orexigenic effects of intrahypothalamic ghrelin

    PubMed Central

    Tucci, Sonia A; Rogers, Elizabeth K; Korbonits, Márta; Kirkham, Tim C

    2004-01-01

    The paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus plays a key role in the control of appetite and energy balance. Both ghrelin and cannabinoid receptor agonists increase food intake when administered into this nucleus: this study investigated possible interactions between the two systems in relation to eating. The orexigenic effect of ghrelin (100 pmol) when infused in to the PVN was reversed by a small, systemic dose of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR141716 (1 mg kg−1). This is the first demonstration of a functional relationship between brain ghrelin and endocannabinoid systems, and, although it needs to be further investigated, the effect of ghrelin on food intake when injected into the PVN seems to be mediated by stimulation of cannabinoid release. PMID:15381634

  19. Cannabinoid-induced stimulation of motor activity in planaria through an opioid receptor-mediated mechanism.

    PubMed

    Buttarelli, Francesca R; Pontieri, Francesco E; Margotta, Vito; Palladini, Guido

    2002-01-01

    Planaria, the most primitive example of centralization and cephalization of the nervous system along phylogeny, shows specific stereotyped behavioral patterns following exposure to drugs acting on neural transmission. In this study, the authors investigated the effects of exposure to the synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist WTN55212.2 on motor activity in planaria. WTN55212.2 produced dose-dependent stimulation of motor behavior. High doses of the drug caused stereotyped activities identical to those seen previously with opioid agonists. These effects were antagonized by coexposure to cannabinoid or opioid receptor antagonists. The results indicate that functional interactions between cannabinoid and opioid systems are highly conserved along phylogeny, at least at the behavioral level.

  20. Muscarinic M1 receptor and cannabinoid CB1 receptor do not modulate paraoxon-induced seizures

    PubMed Central

    Kow, Rebecca L; Cheng, Eugene M; Jiang, Kelly; Le, Joshua H; Stella, Nephi; Nathanson, Neil M

    2015-01-01

    One of the major signs of severe organophosphate poisoning is seizures. Previous studies have shown that both muscarinic agonist- and organophosphate-induced seizures require activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the central nervous system. Seizures induced by the muscarinic agonist pilocarpine require the M1 receptor and are modulated by cannabinoid CB1 receptors. In this study, we determined whether M1 and CB1 receptors also regulated seizures induced by the organophosphate paraoxon. We found no differences in seizures induced by paraoxon in wild-type (WT) and M1 knockout (KO) mice, indicating that in contrast to pilocarpine seizures, M1 receptors are not required for paraoxon seizures. Furthermore, we found that pilocarpine administration resulted in seizure-independent activation of ERK in the hippocampus in a M1 receptor-dependent manner, while paraoxon did not induce seizure-independent activation of ERK in the mouse hippocampus. This shows that pilocarpine and paraoxon activated M1 receptors in the hippocampus to different extents. There were no differences in seizures induced by paraoxon in WT and CB1 KO mice, and neither CB1 agonist nor antagonist administration had significant effects on paraoxon seizures, indicating that, in contrast to pilocarpine seizures, paraoxon seizures are not modulated by CB1 receptors. These results demonstrate that there are fundamental molecular differences in the regulation of seizures induced by pilocarpine and paraoxon. PMID:25692018

  1. Cannabinoid receptor, CB1, expression follows neuronal differentiation in the early chick embryo

    PubMed Central

    Begbie, Jo; Doherty, Patrick; Graham, Anthony

    2004-01-01

    The role of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor and endocannabinoid signalling has been widely studied in the adult nervous system. However, an emerging body of evidence suggests that the CB1 receptor may also play a role during development. Here we have scrutinized the expression profile of the CB1 receptor from the onset of neurogenesis in the chick embryo. We find that this gene exhibits a dynamic expression pattern that spatially and temporally follows neuronal differentiation in the early embryo. PMID:15379926

  2. (+)-Cannabidiol analogues which bind cannabinoid receptors but exert peripheral activity only.

    PubMed

    Fride, Ester; Feigin, Cfir; Ponde, Datta E; Breuer, Aviva; Hanus, Lumír; Arshavsky, Nina; Mechoulam, Raphael

    2004-12-15

    Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta9-THC) and (-)-cannabidiol are major constituents of the Cannabis sativa plant with different pharmacological profiles: (-)-Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, but not (-)-cannabidiol, activates cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors and induces psychoactive and peripheral effects. We have tested a series of (+)-cannabidiol derivatives, namely, (+)-cannabidiol-DMH (DMH-1,1-dimethylheptyl-), (+)-7-OH-cannabidiol-DMH, (+)-7-OH- cannabidiol, (+)-7-COOH- cannabidiol and (+)-7-COOH-cannabidiol-DMH, for central and peripheral (intestinal, antiinflammatory and peripheral pain) effects in mice. Although all (+)-cannabidiols bind to cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, only (+)-7-OH-cannabidiol-DMH was centrally active, while all (+)-cannabidiol analogues completely arrested defecation. The effects of (+)-cannabidiol-DMH and (+)-7-OH-cannabidiol-DMH were partially antagonized by the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist N-(piperidiny-1-yl)-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide (SR141716), but not by the cannabinoid CB2 receptor antagonist N-[-(1S)-endo-1,3,3-trimethil bicyclo [2.2.1] heptan-2-yl-5-(4-chloro-3-methylphenyl)-1-(4-methylbenzyl)-pyrazole-3-carboxamide (SR144528), and had no effect on CB1(-/-) receptor knockout mice. (+)-Cannabidiol-DMH inhibited the peripheral pain response and arachidonic-acid-induced inflammation of the ear. We conclude that centrally inactive (+)-cannabidiol analogues should be further developed as antidiarrheal, antiinflammatory and analgesic drugs for gastrointestinal and other peripheral conditions.

  3. Chronic Constriction Injury Reduces Cannabinoid Receptor 1 Activity in the Rostral Anterior Cingulate Cortex of Mice

    PubMed Central

    Hoot, Michelle R.; Sim-Selley, Laura J.; Poklis, Justin L.; Abdullah, Rehab A.; Scoggins, Krista L.; Selley, Dana E.; Dewey, William L.

    2013-01-01

    The present studies examined the effect of chronic neuropathic pain on cannabinoid receptor density and receptor-mediated G-protein activity within supraspinal brain areas involved in pain processing and modulation in mice. Chronic constriction injury (CCI) produced a significant decrease in WIN 55, 212-2 -stimulated [35S]GTPγS binding in membranes prepared from the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC) of CCI mice when compared to sham operated controls. Saturation binding with [3H]SR 141716A in membranes of the rACC showed no significant differences in binding between CCI and sham mice. Analysis of levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) or 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the rACC following CCI showed no significant differences between CCI and sham mice. These data suggest that CCI produced desensitization of the cannabinoid 1 receptor in the rACC in the absence of an overall decrease in cannabinoid 1 receptor density or change in levels of AEA or 2-AG. These data are the first to show alterations in cannabinoid receptor function in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex in response to a model of neuropathic pain. PMID:20380816

  4. Cannabinoid receptor type 1- and 2-mediated increase in cyclic AMP inhibits T cell receptor-triggered signaling.

    PubMed

    Börner, Christine; Smida, Michal; Höllt, Volker; Schraven, Burkhart; Kraus, Jürgen

    2009-12-18

    The aim of this study was to characterize inhibitory mechanisms on T cell receptor signaling mediated by the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. Both receptors are coupled to G(i/o) proteins, which are associated with inhibition of cyclic AMP formation. In human primary and Jurkat T lymphocytes, activation of CB1 by R(+)-methanandamide, CB2 by JWH015, and both by Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol induced a short decrease in cyclic AMP lasting less than 1 h. However, this decrease was followed by a massive (up to 10-fold) and sustained (at least up to 48 h) increase in cyclic AMP. Mediated by the cyclic AMP-activated protein kinase A and C-terminal Src kinase, the cannabinoids induced a stable phosphorylation of the inhibitory Tyr-505 of the leukocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase (Lck). By thus arresting Lck in its inhibited form, the cannabinoids prevented the dephosphorylation of Lck at Tyr-505 in response to T cell receptor activation, which is necessary for the subsequent initiation of T cell receptor signaling. In this way the cannabinoids inhibited the T cell receptor-triggered signaling, i.e. the activation of the zeta-chain-associated protein kinase of 70 kDa, the linker for activation of T cells, MAPK, the induction of interleukin-2, and T cell proliferation. All of the effects of the cannabinoids were blocked by the CB1 and CB2 antagonists AM281 and AM630. These findings help to better understand the immunosuppressive effects of cannabinoids and explain the beneficial effects of these drugs in the treatment of T cell-mediated autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis.

  5. Opposite function of dopamine D1 and NMDA receptors in striatal cannabinoid-mediated signaling

    PubMed Central

    Daigle, Tanya L.; Wetsel, William C.; Caron, Marc G.

    2011-01-01

    It is well established that the cannabinoid and dopamine systems interact at various levels to regulate basal ganglia function. While it is well known that acute administration of cannabinoids to mice can modify dopamine-dependent behaviors, an understanding of the intraneuronal signaling pathways employed by these agents in the striatum is not well understood. Here we use knockout (KO) mouse models to examine the regulation of striatal ERK1/2 signaling by behaviorally relevant doses of cannabinoids. This cellular pathway has been implicated as a central mediator of drug reward and synaptic plasticity. In C57BL/6J mice, acute administration of cannabinoid agonists, HU-210 and Δ9-THC, promotes a dose- and time-dependent decrease in the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 in dorsal striatum. Co-administration of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) antagonist AM251 with HU-210 prevents ERK1/2 inactivation, indicating a requirement for activation of this receptor. In dopamine D1 receptor (D1R) KO animals treated with HU-210, the magnitude of the HU-210-dependent decrease in striatal ERK1/2 signaling is greater than in wild-type controls. In contrast, the HU-210 administration to NMDA receptor knockdown mice (NR1-Kd) was ineffective at promoting striatal ERK1/2 inactivation. Genetic deletion of other potential ERK1/2 mediators, the dopamine D2 receptors (D2R)s or βarrestin-1 or -2, did not affect HU-210-induced modulation of ERK1/2 signaling in the striatum. These results support the hypothesis that dopamine D1 receptors and NMDA receptors act in an opposite manner to regulate striatal CB1R signal transduction. PMID:22034973

  6. Enkephalin levels and the number of neuropeptide Y-containing interneurons in the hippocampus are decreased in female cannabinoid-receptor 1 knock-out mice.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Sophie A; Kempen, Tracey A Van; Pickel, Virginia M; Milner, Teresa A

    2016-05-04

    Drug addiction requires learning and memory processes that are facilitated by activation of cannabinoid-1 (CB1) and opioid receptors in the hippocampus. This involves activity-dependent synaptic plasticity that is partially regulated by endogenous opioid (enkephalin and dynorphin) and non-opioid peptides, specifically cholecystokinin, parvalbumin and neuropeptide Y, the neuropeptides present in inhibitory interneurons that co-express CB1 or selective opioid receptors. We tested the hypothesis that CB1 receptor expression is a determinant of the availability of one or more of these peptide modulators in the hippocampus. This was achieved by quantitatively analyzing the immunoperoxidase labeling for each of these neuropeptide in the dorsal hippocampus of female wild-type (CB1+/+) and cannabinoid receptor 1 knockout (CB1-/-) C57/BL6 mice. The levels of Leu(5)-enkephalin-immunoreactivity were significantly reduced in the hilus of the dentate gyrus and in stratum lucidum of CA3 in CB1-/- mice. Moreover, the numbers of neuropeptide Y-immunoreactive interneurons in the dentate hilus were significantly lower in the CB1-/- compared to wild-type mice. However, CB1+/+ and CB1-/- mice did not significantly differ in expression levels of either dynorphin or cholecystokinin, and showed no differences in numbers of parvalbumin-containing interneurons. These findings suggest that the cannabinoid and opioid systems have a nuanced, regulatory relationship that could affect the balance of excitation and inhibition in the hippocampus and thus processes such as learning that rely on this balance.

  7. Cannabinoid Receptor Activation Reverses Kainate-Induced Synchronized Population Burst Firing in Rat Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Mason, Rob; Cheer, Joseph F.

    2009-01-01

    Cannabinoids have been shown to possess anticonvulsant properties in whole animal models of epilepsy. The present investigation sought to examine the effects of cannabinoid receptor activation on kainic acid (KA)-induced epileptiform neuronal excitability. Under urethane anesthesia, acute KA treatment (10 mg kg−1, i.p.) entrained the spiking mode of simultaneously recorded neurons from random firing to synchronous bursting (% change in burst rate). Injection of the high-affinity cannabinoid agonist (-)-11-hydroxy-8-tetrahydrocannabinol-dimethyl-heptyl (HU210, 100 μg kg−1, i.p.) following KA markedly reduced the burst frequency (% decrease in burst frequency) and reversed synchronized firing patterns back to baseline levels. Pre-treatment with the central cannabinoid receptor (CB1) antagonist N-piperidino-5-(4-clorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-3-pyrazole-carboxamide (rimonabant, SR141716A 3 mg kg−1, i.p.) completely prevented the actions of HU210. The present results indicate that cannabinoids exert their antiepileptic effects by impeding pathological synchronization of neuronal networks in the hippocampus. PMID:19562087

  8. Loss of Cannabinoid Receptor CB1 Induces Preterm Birth

    PubMed Central

    Dey, Sudhansu K.

    2008-01-01

    Background Preterm birth accounting approximate 10% of pregnancies in women is a tremendous social, clinical and economic burden. However, its underlying causes remain largely unknown. Emerging evidence suggests that endocannabinoid signaling via cannabinoid receptor CB1 play critical roles in multiple early pregnancy events in both animals and humans. Since our previous studies demonstrated that loss of CB1 defers the normal implantation window in mice, we surmised that CB1 deficiency would influence parturition events. Methods and Findings Exploiting mouse models with targeted deletion of Cnr1, Cnr2 and Ptgs1 encoding CB1, CB2 and cyclooxygenase-1, respectively, we examined consequences of CB1 or CB2 silencing on the onset of parturition. We observed that genetic or pharmacological inactivation of CB1, but not CB2, induced preterm labor in mice. Radioimmunoassay analysis of circulating levels of ovarian steroid hormones revealed that premature birth resulting from CB1 inactivation is correlated with altered progesterone/estrogen ratios prior to parturition. More strikingly, the phenotypic defects of prolonged pregnancy length and parturition failure in mice missing Ptgs1 were corrected by introducing CB1 deficiency into Ptgs1 null mice. In addition, loss of CB1 resulted in aberrant secretions of corticotrophin-releasing hormone and corticosterone during late gestation. The pathophysiological significance of this altered corticotrophin-releasing hormone-driven endocrine activity in the absence of CB1 was evident from our subsequent findings that a selective corticotrophin-releasing hormone antagonist was able to restore the normal parturition timing in Cnr1 deficient mice. In contrast, wild-type females receiving excessive levels of corticosterone induced preterm birth. Conclusions CB1 deficiency altering normal progesterone and estrogen levels induces preterm birth in mice. This defect is independent of prostaglandins produced by cyclooxygenase-1. Moreover, CB1

  9. Differential effect of opioid and cannabinoid receptor blockade on heroin-seeking reinstatement and cannabinoid substitution in heroin-abstinent rats

    PubMed Central

    Fattore, L; Spano, MS; Melis, V; Fadda, P; Fratta, W

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Opioids and cannabinoids interact in drug addiction and relapse. We investigated the effect of the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone and/or the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant on cannabinoid-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking and on cannabinoid substitution in heroin-abstinent rats. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Rats were trained to self-administer heroin (30 µg·kg−1 per infusion) under a fixed-ratio 1 reinforcement schedule. After extinction of self-administration (SA) behaviour, we confirmed the effect of naloxone (0.1–1 mg·kg−1) and rimonabant (0.3–3 mg·kg−1) on the reinstatement of heroin seeking induced by priming with the CB1 receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN, 0.15–0.3 mg·kg−1). Then, in a parallel set of heroin-trained rats, we evaluated whether WIN (12.5 µg·kg−1 per infusion) SA substituted for heroin SA after different periods of extinction. In groups of rats in which substitution occurred, we studied the effect of both antagonists on cannabinoid intake. KEY RESULTS Cannabinoid-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking was significantly attenuated by naloxone (1 mg·kg−1) and rimonabant (3 mg·kg−1) and fully blocked by co-administration of sub-threshold doses of the two antagonists. Moreover, contrary to immediate (1 day) or delayed (90 days) drug substitution, rats readily self-administered WIN when access was given after 7, 14 or 21 days of extinction from heroin, and showed a response rate that was positively correlated with the extinction period. In these animals, cannabinoid intake was increased by naloxone (1 mg·kg−1) and decreased by rimonabant (3 mg·kg−1). CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS Our findings extend previous research on the crosstalk between cannabinoid and opioid receptors in relapse mechanisms, which suggests a differential role in heroin-seeking reinstatement and cannabinoid substitution in heroin-abstinent rats. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed issue on

  10. Chronic psychoemotional stress impairs cannabinoid-receptor-mediated control of GABA transmission in the striatum.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Silvia; De Chiara, Valentina; Musella, Alessandra; Kusayanagi, Hajime; Mataluni, Giorgia; Bernardi, Giorgio; Usiello, Alessandro; Centonze, Diego

    2008-07-16

    Exposure to stressful events has a myriad of consequences in animals and in humans, and triggers synaptic adaptations in many brain areas. Stress might also alter cannabinoid-receptor-mediated transmission in the brain, but no physiological study has addressed this issue so far. In the present study, we found that social defeat stress, induced in mice by exposure to aggression, altered cannabinoid CB(1)-receptor-mediated control of synaptic transmission in the striatum. In fact, the presynaptic inhibition of GABAergic IPSCs induced by the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor agonist HU210 [(6aR)-trans-3-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)-6a,7,10,10a-tetrahydro-1-hydroxy-6,6-dimethyl-6H-dibenzo[b,d]pyran-9-methanol] was reduced after a single stressful episode and fully abolished after 3 and 7 d of stress exposure. Repeated psychoemotional stress also impaired the sensitivity of GABA synapses to endocannabinoids mobilized by group I metabotropic glutamate receptor stimulation, whereas the cannabinoid CB(1)-mediated control of glutamate transmission was unaffected by repeated exposure to an aggressor. Corticosteroids released in response to the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis played a major role in the synaptic defects observed in stressed animals, because these alterations were fully prevented by pharmacological blockade of glucocorticoid receptors and were mimicked by corticosterone injections. The recovery of stress-induced synaptic defects was favored when stressed mice were given access to a running wheel or to sucrose consumption, which function as potent natural rewards. A similar rescuing effect was obtained by a single injection of cocaine, a psychostimulant with strong rewarding properties. Targeting cannabinoid CB(1) receptors or endocannabinoid metabolism might be a valuable option to treat stress-associated neuropsychiatric conditions.

  11. Evaluation of the In Vivo and Ex Vivo Binding of Novel BC1 Cannabinoid Receptor Radiotracers

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, A.; Gatley, J.; Gifford, A.

    2002-01-01

    The primary active ingredient of marijuana, 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, exerts its psychoactive effects by binding to cannabinoid CB1 receptors. These receptors are found throughout the brain with high concentrations in the hippocampus and cerebellum. The current study was conducted to evaluate the binding of a newly developed putative cannabinoid antagonist, AM630, and a classical cannabinoid 8-tetrahydrocannabinol as potential PET and/or SPECT imaging agents for brain CB1 receptors. For both of these ligands in vivo and ex vivo studies in mice were conducted. AM630 showed good overall brain uptake (as measure by %IA/g) and a moderately rapid clearance from the brain with a half-clearance time of approximately 30 minutes. However, AM630 did not show selective binding to CB1 cannabinoid receptors. Ex vivo autoradiography supported the lack of selective binding seen in the in vivo study. Similar to AM630, 8-tetrahydrocanibol also failed to show selective binding to CB1 receptor rich brain areas. The 8-tetrahydrocanibol showed moderate overall brain uptake and relatively slow brain clearance as compared to AM630. Further studies were done with AM2233, a cannabinoid ligand with a similar structure as AM630. These studies were done to develop an ex vivo binding assay to quantify the displacement of [131I]AM2233 binding by other ligands in Swiss-Webster and CB1 receptor knockout mice. By developing this assay we hoped to determine the identity of an unknown binding site for AM2233 present in the hippocampus of CB1 knockout mice. Using an approach based on incubation of brain slices prepared from mice given intravenous [131I]AM2233 in either the presence or absence of AM2233 (unlabelled) it was possible to demonstrate a significant AM2233-displacable binding in the Swiss-Webster mice. Future studies will determine if this assay is appropriate for identifying the unknown binding site for AM2233 in the CB1 knockout mice.

  12. Discovery of indole alkaloids with cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonistic activity.

    PubMed

    Kitajima, Mariko; Iwai, Masumi; Kikura-Hanajiri, Ruri; Goda, Yukihiro; Iida, Mitsuru; Yabushita, Hisatoshi; Takayama, Hiromitsu

    2011-04-01

    Three indole alkaloids, voacamine (1), 3,6-oxidovoacangine (2), and a new alkaloid, 5-hydroxy-3,6-oxidovoacangine (3), isolated from Voacanga africana were found to exhibit potent cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonistic activity. This is the first example of CB1 antagonists derived from natural alkaloids. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Differential Effects of Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist on Social Discrimination and Contextual Fear in Amygdala and Hippocampus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Segev, Amir; Akirav, Irit

    2011-01-01

    We examined whether the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN; 5 [mu]g/side) microinjected into the hippocampus or the amygdala would differentially affect memory processes in a neutral vs. an aversive task. In the aversive contextual fear task, WIN into the basolateral amygdala impaired fear acquisition/consolidation, but not retrieval.…

  14. CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors Modulate Kinase and Phosphatase Activity during Extinction of Conditioned Fear in Mice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kamprath, Kornelia; Hermann, Heike; Lutz, Beat; Marsicano, Giovanni; Cannich, Astrid; Wotjak, Carsten T.

    2004-01-01

    Cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) play a central role in both short-term and long-term extinction of auditory-cued fear memory. The molecular mechanisms underlying this function remain to be clarified. Several studies indicated extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs), the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase with its downstream effector AKT, and…

  15. Differential Effects of Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist on Social Discrimination and Contextual Fear in Amygdala and Hippocampus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Segev, Amir; Akirav, Irit

    2011-01-01

    We examined whether the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN; 5 [mu]g/side) microinjected into the hippocampus or the amygdala would differentially affect memory processes in a neutral vs. an aversive task. In the aversive contextual fear task, WIN into the basolateral amygdala impaired fear acquisition/consolidation, but not retrieval.…

  16. Deficits in Sensory-Specific Devaluation Task Performance Following Genetic Deletions of Cannabinoid (CB1) Receptor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crombag, Hans S.; Johnson, Alexander W.; Zimmer, Anne M.; Zimmer, Andreas; Holland, Peter C.

    2010-01-01

    Cannabinoid CB1 receptor is abundantly expressed throughout the CNS and is implicated in numerous physiological and behavioral functions, including appetite and feeding. In the present study, wild-type and CB1 heterozygous and homozygous knockout mice were tested on an instrumental outcome-selective devaluation task to assess changes in acquired…

  17. Deficits in Sensory-Specific Devaluation Task Performance Following Genetic Deletions of Cannabinoid (CB1) Receptor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crombag, Hans S.; Johnson, Alexander W.; Zimmer, Anne M.; Zimmer, Andreas; Holland, Peter C.

    2010-01-01

    Cannabinoid CB1 receptor is abundantly expressed throughout the CNS and is implicated in numerous physiological and behavioral functions, including appetite and feeding. In the present study, wild-type and CB1 heterozygous and homozygous knockout mice were tested on an instrumental outcome-selective devaluation task to assess changes in acquired…

  18. CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors Modulate Kinase and Phosphatase Activity during Extinction of Conditioned Fear in Mice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kamprath, Kornelia; Hermann, Heike; Lutz, Beat; Marsicano, Giovanni; Cannich, Astrid; Wotjak, Carsten T.

    2004-01-01

    Cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) play a central role in both short-term and long-term extinction of auditory-cued fear memory. The molecular mechanisms underlying this function remain to be clarified. Several studies indicated extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs), the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase with its downstream effector AKT, and…

  19. Cannabinoid receptor activation differentially modulates ion channels in photoreceptors of the tiger salamander.

    PubMed

    Straiker, Alex; Sullivan, Jane M

    2003-05-01

    Cannabinoid CB1 receptors have been detected in retinas of numerous species, with prominent labeling in photoreceptor terminals of the chick and monkey. CB1 labeling is well-conserved across species, suggesting that CB1 receptors might also be present in photoreceptors of the tiger salamander. Synaptic transmission in vertebrate photoreceptors is mediated by L-type calcium currents-currents that are modulated by CB1 receptors in bipolar cells of the tiger salamander. Presence of CB1 receptors in photoreceptor terminals would therefore be consistent with presynaptic modulation of synaptic transmission, a role seen for cannabinoids in other parts of the brain. Here we report immunohistochemical and electrophysiological evidence for the presence of functional CB1 receptors in rod and cone photoreceptors of the tiger salamander. The cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN 55212-2 enhances calcium currents of rod photoreceptors by 39% but decreases calcium currents of large single cones by 50%. In addition, WIN 55212-2 suppresses potassium currents of rods and large single cones by 44 and 48%, respectively. Thus functional CB1 receptors, present in the terminals of rod and cone photoreceptors, differentially modulate calcium and potassium currents in rods and large single cones. CB1 receptors are therefore well positioned to modulate neurotransmitter release at the first synapse of the visual system.

  20. Evidence for an interaction between CB1 cannabinoid and oxytocin receptors in food and water intake.

    PubMed

    Verty, A N A; McFarlane, J R; McGregor, I S; Mallet, P E

    2004-09-01

    Oxytocin and CB(1) cannabinoid receptors independently modulate food intake. Although an interaction between oxytocin and cannabinoid systems has been demonstrated with respect to the cannabinoid withdrawal syndrome, the interaction between these systems in modulating food intake has not yet been examined. The present study had three primary purposes: (1) to determine whether oxytocin and a CB(1) receptor antagonist block food and fluid intake in a supra-additive manner, (2) to determine the relative position of the CB(1) receptors in the chain of control of food intake in relation to the oxytocin system, and (3) to determine whether the increase in fluid intake induced by an oxytocin antagonist is mediated via cannabinoid receptors. Rats were habituated to the test environment and injection procedure, and then received intracerebroventricular (ICV) injections of various combinations of the oxytocin receptor antagonist tocinoic acid, the cannabionid receptor agonist delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), oxytocin, or the cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR 141716. Food and water intake and locomotor activity were then measured for 120 min. When administrated alone, SR 141716 and oxytocin dose-dependently attenuated baseline food intake, while oxytocin but not SR 141716 reduced water intake. Sub-anorectic doses of SR 141716 and oxytocin attenuated baseline feeding beyond what would be expected by the sum of the individual drug effects without affecting baseline water intake. THC stimulated feeding but not water intake. THC-induced feeding was not blocked by oxytocin, however, the oxytocin did attenuate water intake during such feeding. SR 141716 dose-dependently reduced tocinoic-acid-stimulated food intake and partially attenuated water intake. Locomotor activity was not significantly affected by any drug treatments, suggesting that effects on feeding were not due to a non-specific reduction in motivated behaviour. These findings reveal an interaction between

  1. The role of cannabinoids in adult neurogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Prenderville, Jack A; Kelly, Áine M; Downer, Eric J

    2015-01-01

    The processes underpinning post-developmental neurogenesis in the mammalian brain continue to be defined. Such processes involve the proliferation of neural stem cells and neural progenitor cells (NPCs), neuronal migration, differentiation and integration into a network of functional synapses within the brain. Both intrinsic (cell signalling cascades) and extrinsic (neurotrophins, neurotransmitters, cytokines, hormones) signalling molecules are intimately associated with adult neurogenesis and largely dictate the proliferative activity and differentiation capacity of neural cells. Cannabinoids are a unique class of chemical compounds incorporating plant-derived cannabinoids (the active components of Cannabis sativa), the endogenous cannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoid ligands, and these compounds are becoming increasingly recognized for their roles in neural developmental processes. Indeed, cannabinoids have clear modulatory roles in adult neurogenesis, probably through activation of both CB1 and CB2 receptors. In recent years, a large body of literature has deciphered the signalling networks involved in cannabinoid-mediated regulation of neurogenesis. This timely review summarizes the evidence that the cannabinoid system is intricately associated with neuronal differentiation and maturation of NPCs and highlights intrinsic/extrinsic signalling mechanisms that are cannabinoid targets. Overall, these findings identify the central role of the cannabinoid system in adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus and the lateral ventricles and hence provide insight into the processes underlying post-developmental neurogenesis in the mammalian brain. PMID:25951750

  2. Cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 form functional heteromers in brain.

    PubMed

    Callén, Lucía; Moreno, Estefanía; Barroso-Chinea, Pedro; Moreno-Delgado, David; Cortés, Antoni; Mallol, Josefa; Casadó, Vicent; Lanciego, José Luis; Franco, Rafael; Lluis, Carmen; Canela, Enric I; McCormick, Peter J

    2012-06-15

    Exploring the role of cannabinoid CB(2) receptors in the brain, we present evidence of CB(2) receptor molecular and functional interaction with cannabinoid CB(1) receptors. Using biophysical and biochemical approaches, we discovered that CB(2) receptors can form heteromers with CB(1) receptors in transfected neuronal cells and in rat brain pineal gland, nucleus accumbens, and globus pallidus. Within CB(1)-CB(2) receptor heteromers expressed in a neuronal cell model, agonist co-activation of CB(1) and CB(2) receptors resulted in a negative cross-talk in Akt phosphorylation and neurite outgrowth. Moreover, one specific characteristic of CB(1)-CB(2) receptor heteromers consists of both the ability of CB(1) receptor antagonists to block the effect of CB(2) receptor agonists and, conversely, the ability of CB(2) receptor antagonists to block the effect of CB(1) receptor agonists, showing a bidirectional cross-antagonism phenomenon. Taken together, these data illuminate the mechanism by which CB(2) receptors can negatively modulate CB(1) receptor function.

  3. Cellular and intracellular mechanisms involved in the cognitive impairment of cannabinoids

    PubMed Central

    Puighermanal, Emma; Busquets-Garcia, Arnau; Maldonado, Rafael; Ozaita, Andrés

    2012-01-01

    Exogenous cannabinoids, such as delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as well as the modulation of endogenous cannabinoids, affect cognitive function through the activation of cannabinoid receptors. Indeed, these compounds modulate a number of signalling pathways critically implicated in the deleterious effect of cannabinoids on learning and memory. Thus, the involvement of the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway and extracellular signal-regulated kinases, together with their consequent regulation of cellular processes such as protein translation, play a critical role in the amnesic-like effects of cannabinoids. In this study, we summarize the cellular and molecular mechanisms reported in the modulation of cognitive function by the endocannabinoid system. PMID:23108544

  4. 1-Benzhydryl-3-phenylurea and 1-benzhydryl-3-phenylthiourea derivatives: new templates among the CB1 cannabinoid receptor inverse agonists.

    PubMed

    Muccioli, Giulio G; Wouters, Johan; Scriba, Gerhard K E; Poppitz, Wolfgang; Poupaert, Jacques H; Lambert, Didier M

    2005-11-17

    New 1-benzhydryl-3-phenylurea derivatives and their 1-benzhydryl-3-phenylthiourea isosteres were synthesized and evaluated for their human CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptor affinity. These compounds proved to be selective CB1 cannabinoid receptor ligands, acting as inverse agonists in a [35S]-GTPgammaS assay. The affinity of 3,5,5'-triphenylimidazolidine-2,4-dione and 3,5,5'-triphenyl-2-thioxoimidazolidin-4-one derivatives, possessing the 1-benzhydryl-3-phenylurea and 1-benzhydryl-3-phenylthiourea moiety, respectively, was also evaluated. In conclusion, the 1-benzhydryl-3-phenylurea scaffold seems to be a new interesting template of CB1 cannabinoid receptor inverse agonists.

  5. Genetic variations in the human cannabinoid receptor gene are associated with happiness.

    PubMed

    Matsunaga, Masahiro; Isowa, Tokiko; Yamakawa, Kaori; Fukuyama, Seisuke; Shinoda, Jun; Yamada, Jitsuhiro; Ohira, Hideki

    2014-01-01

    Happiness has been viewed as a temporary emotional state (e.g., pleasure) and a relatively stable state of being happy (subjective happiness level). As previous studies demonstrated that individuals with high subjective happiness level rated their current affective states more positively when they experience positive events, these two aspects of happiness are interrelated. According to a recent neuroimaging study, the cytosine to thymine single-nucleotide polymorphism of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene is associated with sensitivity to positive emotional stimuli. Thus, we hypothesized that our genetic traits, such as the human cannabinoid receptor 1 genotypes, are closely related to the two aspects of happiness. In Experiment 1, 198 healthy volunteers were used to compare the subjective happiness level between cytosine allele carriers and thymine-thymine carriers of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene. In Experiment 2, we used positron emission tomography with 20 healthy participants to compare the brain responses to positive emotional stimuli of cytosine allele carriers to that of thymine-thymine carriers. Compared to thymine-thymine carriers, cytosine allele carriers have a higher subjective happiness level. Regression analysis indicated that the cytosine allele is significantly associated with subjective happiness level. The positive mood after watching a positive film was significantly higher for the cytosine allele carriers compared to the thymine-thymine carriers. Positive emotion-related brain region such as the medial prefrontal cortex was significantly activated when the cytosine allele carriers watched the positive film compared to the thymine-thymine carriers. Thus, the human cannabinoid receptor 1 genotypes are closely related to two aspects of happiness. Compared to thymine-thymine carriers, the cytosine allele carriers of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene, who are sensitive to positive emotional stimuli, exhibited greater magnitude

  6. Genetic Variations in the Human Cannabinoid Receptor Gene Are Associated with Happiness

    PubMed Central

    Matsunaga, Masahiro; Isowa, Tokiko; Yamakawa, Kaori; Fukuyama, Seisuke; Shinoda, Jun; Yamada, Jitsuhiro; Ohira, Hideki

    2014-01-01

    Happiness has been viewed as a temporary emotional state (e.g., pleasure) and a relatively stable state of being happy (subjective happiness level). As previous studies demonstrated that individuals with high subjective happiness level rated their current affective states more positively when they experience positive events, these two aspects of happiness are interrelated. According to a recent neuroimaging study, the cytosine to thymine single-nucleotide polymorphism of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene is associated with sensitivity to positive emotional stimuli. Thus, we hypothesized that our genetic traits, such as the human cannabinoid receptor 1 genotypes, are closely related to the two aspects of happiness. In Experiment 1, 198 healthy volunteers were used to compare the subjective happiness level between cytosine allele carriers and thymine-thymine carriers of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene. In Experiment 2, we used positron emission tomography with 20 healthy participants to compare the brain responses to positive emotional stimuli of cytosine allele carriers to that of thymine-thymine carriers. Compared to thymine-thymine carriers, cytosine allele carriers have a higher subjective happiness level. Regression analysis indicated that the cytosine allele is significantly associated with subjective happiness level. The positive mood after watching a positive film was significantly higher for the cytosine allele carriers compared to the thymine-thymine carriers. Positive emotion-related brain region such as the medial prefrontal cortex was significantly activated when the cytosine allele carriers watched the positive film compared to the thymine-thymine carriers. Thus, the human cannabinoid receptor 1 genotypes are closely related to two aspects of happiness. Compared to thymine-thymine carriers, the cytosine allele carriers of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene, who are sensitive to positive emotional stimuli, exhibited greater magnitude

  7. Elucidating Cannabinoid Biology in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

    PubMed Central

    Krug, Randall G.; Clark, Karl J.

    2015-01-01

    The number of annual cannabinoid users exceeds 100,000,000 globally and an estimated 9 % of these individuals will suffer from dependency. Although exogenous cannabinoids, like those contained in marijuana, are known to exert their effects by disrupting the endocannabinoid system, a dearth of knowledge exists about the potential toxicological consequences on public health. Conversely, the endocannabinoid system represents a promising therapeutic target for a plethora of disorders because it functions to endogenously regulate a vast repertoire of physiological functions. Accordingly, the rapidly expanding field of cannabinoid biology has sought to leverage model organisms in order to provide both toxicological and therapeutic insights about altered endocannabinoid signaling. The primary goal of this manuscript is to review the existing field of cannabinoid research in the genetically tractable zebrafish model—focusing on the cannabinoid receptor genes, cnr1 and cnr2, and the genes that produce enzymes for synthesis and degradation of the cognate ligands anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol. Consideration is also given to research that has studied the effects of exposure to exogenous phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids that are known to interact with cannabinoid receptors. These results are considered in the context of either endocannabinoid gene expression or endocannabinoid gene function, and are integrated with findings from rodent studies. This provides the framework for a discussion of how zebrafish may be leveraged in the future to provide novel toxicological and therapeutic insights in the field of cannabinoid biology, which has become increasingly significant given recent trends in cannabis legislation. PMID:26192460

  8. Cannabinoids: mechanisms and therapeutic applications in the CNS.

    PubMed

    Drysdale, Alison J; Platt, Bettina

    2003-12-01

    Cannabinoids comprise three classes of compounds, the active components of marijuana (Cannabis sativa), as well as endogenous and synthetic derivatives. To date, two distinct cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) have been discovered, but evidence for further receptor types has been brought forward. The potential use of cannabinoids for medicinal purposes has long been known, but the mechanisms of action of both exogenously applied and endogenous cannabinoids are only partly established. For nervous system disorders, cannabinoids may be useful by modulating neurotransmission and calcium homeostasis as well as by anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant actions. Some cannabinoids can also trigger cell death, which may be of therapeutic benefit in the treatment of malignant tumours. A number of both in vitro and in vivo models have provided promising but diverse evidence for cannabinoid protection in glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity, hypoxia and glucose deprivation, brain trauma, epilepsy and MS. Subsequent to many preclinical investigations, clinical trials are now underway in a variety of the above applications. Overall, the understanding of the therapeutic relevance of cannabinoids will rely on further investigations into the neuroprotective and neurotoxic potency of cannabinoids in animal models and humans, as much as on a further advancement of our general understanding of the endocannabinoid system and the development of specific compounds devoid of unwanted psychoactive side effects.

  9. LiCABEDS II. Modeling of Ligand Selectivity for G-protein Coupled Cannabinoid Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Chao; Wang, Lirong; Yang, Peng; Myint, Kyaw Z.; Xie, Xiang-Qun

    2014-01-01

    The cannabinoid receptor subtype 2 (CB2) is a promising therapeutic target for blood cancer, pain relief, osteoporosis, and immune system disease. The recent withdrawal of Rimonabant, which targets at another closely related cannabinoid receptor (CB1), accentuates the importance of selectivity for the development of CB2 ligands in order to minimize their effects on the CB1 receptor. In our previous study, LiCABEDS (Ligand Classifier of Adaptively Boosting Ensemble Decision Stumps) was reported as a generic ligand classification algorithm for the prediction of categorical molecular properties. Here, we report extension of the application of LiCABEDS to the modeling of cannabinoid ligand selectivity with molecular fingerprints as descriptors. The performance of LiCABEDS was systematically compared with another popular classification algorithm, support vector machine (SVM), according to prediction precision and recall rate. In addition, the examination of LiCABEDS models revealed the difference in structure diversity of CB1 and CB2 selective ligands. The structure determination from data mining could be useful for the design of novel cannabinoid lead compounds. More importantly, the potential of LiCABEDS was demonstrated through successful identification of newly synthesized CB2 selective compounds. PMID:23278450

  10. Cannabinoid receptor activation inhibits cell cycle progression by modulating 14-3-3β.

    PubMed

    Jung, Hye-Won; Park, Inae; Ghil, Sungho

    2014-09-01

    Cannabinoids display various pharmacological activities, including tumor regression, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. To investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the pharmacological effects of cannabinoids, we used a yeast two-hybrid system to screen a mouse brain cDNA library for proteins interacting with type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R). Using the intracellular loop 3 of CB1R as bait, we identified 14-3-3β as an interacting partner of CB1R and confirmed their interaction using affinity-binding assays. 14-3-3β has been reported to induce a cell cycle delay at the G2/M phase. We tested the effects of cannabinoids on cell cycle progression in HeLa cells synchronized using a double-thymidine block-and-release protocol and found an increase in the population of G2/M phase cells. We further found that CB1R activation augmented the interaction of 14-3-3β with Wee1 and Cdc25B, and promoted phosphorylation of Cdc2 at Tyr-15. These results suggest that cannabinoids induce cell cycle delay at the G2/M phase by activating 14-3-3β.

  11. Predicting the molecular interactions of CRIP1a-cannabinoid 1 receptor with integrated molecular modeling approaches.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Mostafa H; Kellogg, Glen E; Selley, Dana E; Safo, Martin K; Zhang, Yan

    2014-02-15

    Cannabinoid receptors are a family of G-protein coupled receptors that are involved in a wide variety of physiological processes and diseases. One of the key regulators that are unique to cannabinoid receptors is the cannabinoid receptor interacting proteins (CRIPs). Among them CRIP1a was found to decrease the constitutive activity of the cannabinoid type-1 receptor (CB1R). The aim of this study is to gain an understanding of the interaction between CRIP1a and CB1R through using different computational techniques. The generated model demonstrated several key putative interactions between CRIP1a and CB1R, including the critical involvement of Lys130 in CRIP1a.

  12. Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators: Cannabinoid Receptor Inverse Agonists with Differential CB1 and CB2 Selectivity

    PubMed Central

    Franks, Lirit N.; Ford, Benjamin M.; Prather, Paul L.

    2016-01-01

    Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) are used to treat estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer and osteoporosis. Interestingly, tamoxifen and newer classes of SERMs also exhibit cytotoxic effects in cancers devoid of ERs, indicating a non-estrogenic mechanism of action. Indicative of a potential ER-independent target, reports demonstrate that tamoxifen binds to cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) with affinity in the low μM range and acts as an inverse agonist. To identify cannabinoids with improved pharmacological properties relative to tamoxifen, and further investigate the use of different SERM scaffolds for future cannabinoid drug development, this study characterized the affinity and activity of SERMs in newer structural classes at CBRs. Fourteen SERMs from five structurally distinct classes were screened for binding to human CBRs. Compounds from four of five SERM classes examined bound to CBRs. Subsequent studies fully characterized CBR affinity and activity of one compound from each class. Ospemifine (a triphenylethylene) selectively bound to CB1Rs, while bazedoxifine (an indole) bound to CB2Rs with highest affinity. Nafoxidine (a tetrahydronaphthalene) and raloxifene (RAL; a benzothiaphene) bound to CB1 and CB2Rs non-selectively. All four compounds acted as inverse agonists at CB1 and CB2Rs, reducing basal G-protein activity with IC50 values in the nM to low μM range. Ospemifine, bazedoxifene and RAL also acted as inverse agonists to elevate basal intracellular cAMP levels in intact CHO-hCB2 cells. The four SERMs examined also acted as CB1 and CB2R antagonists in the cAMP assay, producing rightward shifts in the concentration-effect curve of the CBR agonist CP-55,940. In conclusion, newer classes of SERMs exhibit improved pharmacological characteristics (e.g., in CBR affinity and selectivity) relative to initial studies with tamoxifen, and thus suggest that different SERM scaffolds may be useful for development of safe and selective drugs acting

  13. A restricted population of CB1 cannabinoid receptors with neuroprotective activity.

    PubMed

    Chiarlone, Anna; Bellocchio, Luigi; Blázquez, Cristina; Resel, Eva; Soria-Gómez, Edgar; Cannich, Astrid; Ferrero, José J; Sagredo, Onintza; Benito, Cristina; Romero, Julián; Sánchez-Prieto, José; Lutz, Beat; Fernández-Ruiz, Javier; Galve-Roperh, Ismael; Guzmán, Manuel

    2014-06-03

    The CB1 cannabinoid receptor, the main molecular target of endocannabinoids and cannabis active components, is the most abundant G protein-coupled receptor in the mammalian brain. Of note, CB1 receptors are expressed at the synapses of two opposing (i.e., GABAergic/inhibitory and glutamatergic/excitatory) neuronal populations, so the activation of one and/or another receptor population may conceivably evoke different effects. Despite the widely reported neuroprotective activity of the CB1 receptor in animal models, the precise pathophysiological relevance of those two CB1 receptor pools in neurodegenerative processes is unknown. Here, we first induced excitotoxic damage in the mouse brain by (i) administering quinolinic acid to conditional mutant animals lacking CB1 receptors selectively in GABAergic or glutamatergic neurons, and (ii) manipulating corticostriatal glutamatergic projections remotely with a designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drug pharmacogenetic approach. We next examined the alterations that occur in the R6/2 mouse, a well-established model of Huntington disease, upon (i) fully knocking out CB1 receptors, and (ii) deleting CB1 receptors selectively in corticostriatal glutamatergic or striatal GABAergic neurons. The data unequivocally identify the restricted population of CB1 receptors located on glutamatergic terminals as an indispensable player in the neuroprotective activity of (endo)cannabinoids, therefore suggesting that this precise receptor pool constitutes a promising target for neuroprotective therapeutic strategies.

  14. Differential effect of opioid and cannabinoid receptor blockade on heroin-seeking reinstatement and cannabinoid substitution in heroin-abstinent rats.

    PubMed

    Fattore, L; Spano, Ms; Melis, V; Fadda, P; Fratta, W

    2011-08-01

    Opioids and cannabinoids interact in drug addiction and relapse. We investigated the effect of the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone and/or the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist rimonabant on cannabinoid-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking and on cannabinoid substitution in heroin-abstinent rats. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Rats were trained to self-administer heroin (30 µg·kg(-1) per infusion) under a fixed-ratio 1 reinforcement schedule. After extinction of self-administration (SA) behaviour, we confirmed the effect of naloxone (0.1-1 mg·kg(-1)) and rimonabant (0.3-3 mg·kg(-1)) on the reinstatement of heroin seeking induced by priming with the CB(1) receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN, 0.15-0.3 mg·kg(-1)). Then, in a parallel set of heroin-trained rats, we evaluated whether WIN (12.5 µg·kg(-1) per infusion) SA substituted for heroin SA after different periods of extinction. In groups of rats in which substitution occurred, we studied the effect of both antagonists on cannabinoid intake. Cannabinoid-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking was significantly attenuated by naloxone (1 mg·kg(-1)) and rimonabant (3 mg·kg(-1)) and fully blocked by co-administration of sub-threshold doses of the two antagonists. Moreover, contrary to immediate (1 day) or delayed (90 days) drug substitution, rats readily self-administered WIN when access was given after 7, 14 or 21 days of extinction from heroin, and showed a response rate that was positively correlated with the extinction period. In these animals, cannabinoid intake was increased by naloxone (1 mg·kg(-1)) and decreased by rimonabant (3 mg·kg(-1)). Our findings extend previous research on the crosstalk between cannabinoid and opioid receptors in relapse mechanisms, which suggests a differential role in heroin-seeking reinstatement and cannabinoid substitution in heroin-abstinent rats. © 2011 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology © 2011 The British Pharmacological Society.

  15. Beneficial effects of cannabinoids (CB) in a murine model of allergen-induced airway inflammation: role of CB1/CB2 receptors.

    PubMed

    Braun, Andrea; Engel, Tabea; Aguilar-Pimentel, Juan Antonio; Zimmer, Andreas; Jakob, Thilo; Behrendt, Heidrun; Mempel, Martin

    2011-04-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) consists of two cannabinoid (CB) receptors, namely CB(1) and CB(2) receptor, and their endogenous (endocannabinoids) and exogenous (cannabinoids, e.g. delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)) ligands which bind to these receptors. Based on studies suggesting a role of THC and the ECS in inflammation, the objective of this study was to examine their involvement in type I hypersensitivity using a murine model of allergic airway inflammation. THC treatment of C57BL/6 wildtype mice dramatically reduced airway inflammation as determined by significantly reduced total cell counts in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). These effects were greatest when mice were treated during both, the sensitization and the challenge phase. Furthermore, systemic immune responses were significantly suppressed in mice which received THC during sensitization phase. To investigate a role of CB(1/2) receptors in this setting, we used pharmacological blockade of CB(1) and/or CB(2) receptors by the selective antagonists and moreover CB(1)/CB(2) receptor double-knockout mice (CB(1)(-/-)/CB(2)(-/-)) and found neither significant changes in the cell patterns in BAL nor in immunoglobulin levels as compared to wildtype mice. Our results indicate that the activation of the ECS by applying the agonist THC is involved in the development of type I allergies. However, CB(1)/CB(2) receptor-independent signalling seems likely in the observed results.

  16. Cannabinoid CB2 receptors: a therapeutic target for the treatment of inflammatory and neuropathic pain

    PubMed Central

    Guindon, J; Hohmann, A G

    2007-01-01

    Cannabinoids suppress behavioural responses to noxious stimulation and suppress nociceptive transmission through activation of CB1 and CB2 receptor subtypes. CB1 receptors are expressed at high levels in the central nervous system (CNS), whereas CB2 receptors are found predominantly, but not exclusively, outside the CNS. CB2 receptors are also upregulated in the CNS and dorsal root ganglia by pathological pain states. Here, we review behavioural, neurochemical and electrophysiological data, which identify cannabinoid CB2 receptors as a therapeutic target for treating pathological pain states with limited centrally, mediated side effects. The development of CB2-selective agonists (with minimal affinity for CB1) as well as mutant mice lacking CB2 receptors has provided pharmacological and genetic tools required to evaluate the effectiveness of CB2 agonists in suppressing persistent pain states. This review will examine the efficacy of cannabinoid CB2-selective agonists in suppressing acute, inflammatory and neuropathic nociception following systemic and local routes of administration. Data derived from behavioural, neurochemical and neurophysiological approaches are discussed to better understand the relationship between antinociceptive effects induced by CB2-selective agonists in behavioural studies and neural mechanisms of pain suppression. Finally, the therapeutic potential and possible limitations of CB2-based pharmacotherapies for pathological pain states induced by tissue and nerve injury are discussed. PMID:17994113

  17. Physiological evidence of a postsynaptic inhibition of the tail flick reflex by a cannabinoid receptor agonist

    PubMed Central

    Dableh, Liliane J.; Yashpal, Kiran; Henry, James L.

    2016-01-01

    Current evidence indicates that cannabinoids are antinociceptive and this effect is in part mediated by spinal mechanisms. Anatomical studies have localized cannabinoid CB1 receptors to pre- and postsynaptic sites within the spinal cord. However, behavioural tests have not clearly indicated the relative importance of each of these sites. In this study, the tail flick test was used as a model of acute pain in the rat to determine the site of action of WIN 55,212-2 ((R)-(+)-[2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3[(4-morpholinyl)methyl]pyrolo[1,2,3-de]-1,4-benzoxazinyl]-(1-naphthalenyl)methanone mesylate), a synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist. WIN 55,212-2 (3 mg/kg, i.p.) increased the latency of tail withdrawal from a noxious radiant heat source, indicating it is antinociceptive in this model. Using the same paradigm, WIN 55,212-2 was then tested against the synaptically-induced nociceptive hypersensitivity in response to noxious thermal stimulation of the tail (hot water tail immersion). WIN 55,212-2 blocked this hypersensitivity, confirming a spinal site of action of the cannabinoid receptor agonist. Further, WIN 55,212-2 blocked the nociceptive hypersensitivity induced by intrathecal administration of substance P. As substance P acts on postsynaptic tachykinin NK1 receptors in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, the data are interpreted to suggest that WIN 55,212-2 expressed its anti-hypersensitivity effects at least partially via a postsynaptic site of action; the data do not rule out a presynaptic site of action. This study suggests that cannabinoids may induce analgesia via a postsynaptic site of action in the spinal cord, as well as the possibility that they may interact with substance P signaling. PMID:19027734

  18. Involvement of central and peripheral cannabinoid receptors on antinociceptive effect of tetrahydrocannabinol in muscle pain.

    PubMed

    Bagüés, Ana; Martín, M Isabel; Sánchez-Robles, Eva M

    2014-12-15

    Cannabinoid (CB) receptors have emerged as an attractive therapeutic target for pain management in recent years and the interest in the use of cannabinoids is gradually increasing, particularly in patients where conventional treatments fail. Muscle pain is a major clinical problem and new pharmacological approaches are being studied. Recently, we have demonstrated that cannabinoid synthetic agonists are useful to reduce muscular pain in two animal models, where the local administration is effective. Now, we want to know if tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a cannabinoid natural derivative with therapeutic use in humans, is also effective in reducing acute muscle pain. The antinociceptive effect of THC by systemic (i.p.) and local (i.m.) administration was tested in two animal models of acute muscle pain, rat masseter and gastrocnemius, induced by hypertonic saline (HS) injection. The drugs used were the non-selective agonist THC and two selective cannabinoid antagonists, AM251 (CB1) and AM630 (CB2). THC, i.p. and i.m. administered, reduced the nociceptive behaviours induced by HS in both muscular pain models. The antinociceptive effect induced by the systemic administration of THC was mediated by CB1 receptors in the masseter muscle whereas in gastrocnemius both CB1 and CB2 receptors participated. When THC was administered locally, only CB2 receptors were involved in the antinociceptive effect in both muscles. This study suggests that THC could be a future pharmacological option in the treatment of muscle pain. The local administration of THC could be an interesting option to treat this type of pain avoiding the central adverse effects.

  19. Cannabinoid receptor activation in the rostral ventrolateral medulla oblongata evokes cardiorespiratory effects in anaesthetised rats.

    PubMed

    Padley, James R; Li, Qun; Pilowsky, Paul M; Goodchild, Ann K

    2003-09-01

    1. The nature of the cardiorespiratory effects mediated by cannabinoids in the hindbrain is poorly understood. In the present study we investigated whether cannabinoid receptor activation in the rostral ventrolateral medulla oblongata (RVLM) affects cardiovascular and/or respiratory function. 2. Initially, we looked for evidence of CB1 receptor gene expression in rostral and caudal sections of the rat ventrolateral medulla (VLM) using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Second, the potent cannabinoid receptor agonists WIN55,212-2 (0.05, 0.5 or 5 pmol per 50 nl) and HU-210 (0.5 pmol per 50 nl) or the CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist AM281 (1 pmol per 100 nl) were microinjected into the RVLM of urethane-anaesthetised, immobilised and mechanically ventilated male Sprague-Dawley rats (n=22). Changes in splanchnic nerve activity (sSNA), phrenic nerve activity (PNA), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR) in response to cannabinoid administration were recorded. 3. The CB1 receptor gene was expressed throughout the VLM. Unilateral microinjection of WIN55,212-2 into the RVLM evoked short-latency, dose-dependent increases in sSNA (0.5 pmol; 175+/-8%, n=5) and MAP (0.5 pmol; 26+/-3%, n=8) and abolished PNA (0.5 pmol; duration of apnoea: 5.4+/-0.4 s, n=8), with little change in HR (P<0.005). HU-210, structurally related to Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), evoked similar effects when microinjected into the RVLM (n=4). Surprisingly, prior microinjection of AM281 produced agonist-like effects, as well as significantly attenuated the response to subsequent injection of WIN55,212-2 (0.5 pmol, n=4). 4. The present study reveals CB1 receptor gene expression in the rat VLM and demonstrates sympathoexcitation, hypertension and respiratory inhibition in response to RVLM-administered cannabinoids. These findings suggest a novel link between CB1 receptors in this region of the hindbrain and the central cardiorespiratory effects of cannabinoids. The extent

  20. Cannabinoid receptor activation in the rostral ventrolateral medulla oblongata evokes cardiorespiratory effects in anaesthetised rats

    PubMed Central

    Padley, James R; Li, Qun; Pilowsky, Paul M; Goodchild, Ann K

    2003-01-01

    The nature of the cardiorespiratory effects mediated by cannabinoids in the hindbrain is poorly understood. In the present study we investigated whether cannabinoid receptor activation in the rostral ventrolateral medulla oblongata (RVLM) affects cardiovascular and/or respiratory function. Initially, we looked for evidence of CB1 receptor gene expression in rostral and caudal sections of the rat ventrolateral medulla (VLM) using reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction. Second, the potent cannabinoid receptor agonists WIN55,212-2 (0.05, 0.5 or 5 pmol per 50 nl) and HU-210 (0.5 pmol per 50 nl) or the CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist AM281 (1 pmol per 100 nl) were microinjected into the RVLM of urethane-anaesthetised, immobilised and mechanically ventilated male Sprague–Dawley rats (n=22). Changes in splanchnic nerve activity (sSNA), phrenic nerve activity (PNA), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR) in response to cannabinoid administration were recorded. The CB1 receptor gene was expressed throughout the VLM. Unilateral microinjection of WIN55,212-2 into the RVLM evoked short-latency, dose-dependent increases in sSNA (0.5 pmol; 175±8%, n=5) and MAP (0.5 pmol; 26±3%, n=8) and abolished PNA (0.5 pmol; duration of apnoea: 5.4±0.4 s, n=8), with little change in HR (P<0.005). HU-210, structurally related to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), evoked similar effects when microinjected into the RVLM (n=4). Surprisingly, prior microinjection of AM281 produced agonist-like effects, as well as significantly attenuated the response to subsequent injection of WIN55,212-2 (0.5 pmol, n=4). The present study reveals CB1 receptor gene expression in the rat VLM and demonstrates sympathoexcitation, hypertension and respiratory inhibition in response to RVLM-administered cannabinoids. These findings suggest a novel link between CB1 receptors in this region of the hindbrain and the central cardiorespiratory effects of cannabinoids. The extent to which these

  1. Cannabinoid type 1 receptor antagonists for smoking cessation.

    PubMed

    Cahill, Kate; Ussher, Michael H

    2011-03-16

    Selective type 1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptor antagonists may assist with smoking cessation by restoring the balance of the endocannabinoid system, which can be disrupted by prolonged use of nicotine. They also seeks to address many smokers' reluctance to persist with a quit attempt because of concerns about weight gain. To determine whether selective CB1 receptor antagonists (currently rimonabant and taranabant) increase the numbers of people stopping smoking To assess their effects on weight change in successful quitters and in those who try to quit but fail. We searched the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Review Group specialized register for trials, using the terms ('rimonabant' or 'taranabant') and 'smoking' in the title or abstract, or as keywords. We also searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and PsycINFO, using major MESH terms. We acquired electronic or paper copies of posters of preliminary trial results presented at the American Thoracic Society Meeting in 2005, and at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco European Meeting 2006. We also attempted to contact the authors of ongoing studies of rimonabant, and Sanofi Aventis (manufacturers of rimonabant). The most recent search was in January 2011. Types of studies Randomized controlled trialsTypes of participants Adult smokersTypes of interventions Selective CB1 receptor antagonists, such as rimonabant and taranabant. Types of outcome measures The primary outcome is smoking status at a minimum of six months after the start of treatment. We preferred sustained cessation rates to point prevalence, and biochemically verified cessation to self-reported quitting. We regarded smokers who drop out or are lost to follow up as continuing smokers. We have noted any adverse effects of treatment.A secondary outcome is weight change associated with the cessation attempt. Two authors checked the abstracts for relevance, and attempted to acquire full trial reports. One author extracted the data, and a second author checked

  2. Evidence for association between polymorphisms in the Cannabinoid Receptor 1 (CNR1) gene and cannabis dependence

    PubMed Central

    Agrawal, Arpana; Wetherill, Leah; Dick, Danielle M.; Xuei, Xiaoling; Hinrichs, Anthony; Hesselbrock, Victor; Kramer, John; Nurnberger, John I.; Schuckit, Marc; Bierut, Laura J.; Edenberg, Howard J.; Foroud, Tatiana

    2009-01-01

    Genomic studies of cannabis use disorders have been limited. The cannabinoid receptor 1 gene (CNR1) on chromosome 6q14–15 is an excellent candidate gene for cannabis dependence due to the important role of the G-protein coupled receptor encoded by this gene in the rewarding effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Previous studies have found equivocal evidence for an association between SNPs in CNR1 and a general vulnerability to substance use disorders. We investigate the association between 9 SNPs spanning CNR1 and cannabis dependence in 1,923 individuals. Two SNPs that were previously associated with cannabis dependence in other studies were also significant with this phenotype in our analyses [rs806368 (p = 0.05) and rs806380 (p = 0.009)]. Haplotype analyses revealed the association to be largely driven by the SNP rs806380. These results suggest a role for the cannabinoid receptor 1 gene in cannabis dependence. PMID:19016476

  3. Primary Macrophage Chemotaxis Induced by Cannabinoid Receptor 2 Agonists Occurs Independently of the CB2 Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Lewis; Christou, Ivy; Kapellos, Theodore S.; Buchan, Alice; Brodermann, Maximillian H.; Gianella-Borradori, Matteo; Russell, Angela; Iqbal, Asif J.; Greaves, David R.

    2015-01-01

    Activation of CB2 has been demonstrated to induce directed immune cell migration. However, the ability of CB2 to act as a chemoattractant receptor in macrophages remains largely unexplored. Using a real-time chemotaxis assay and a panel of chemically diverse and widely used CB2 agonists, we set out to examine whether CB2 modulates primary murine macrophage chemotaxis. We report that of 12 agonists tested, only JWH133, HU308, L-759,656 and L-759,633 acted as macrophage chemoattractants. Surprisingly, neither pharmacological inhibition nor genetic ablation of CB2 had any effect on CB2 agonist-induced macrophage chemotaxis. As chemotaxis was pertussis toxin sensitive in both WT and CB2-/- macrophages, we concluded that a non-CB1/CB2, Gi/o-coupled GPCR must be responsible for CB2 agonist-induced macrophage migration. The obvious candidate receptors GPR18 and GPR55 could not mediate JWH133 or HU308-induced cytoskeletal rearrangement or JWH133-induced β-arrestin recruitment in cells transfected with either receptor, demonstrating that neither are the unidentified GPCR. Taken together our results conclusively demonstrate that CB2 is not a chemoattractant receptor for murine macrophages. Furthermore we show for the first time that JWH133, HU308, L-759,656 and L-759,633 have off-target effects of functional consequence in primary cells and we believe that our findings have wide ranging implications for the entire cannabinoid field. PMID:26033291

  4. Primary Macrophage Chemotaxis Induced by Cannabinoid Receptor 2 Agonists Occurs Independently of the CB2 Receptor.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Lewis; Christou, Ivy; Kapellos, Theodore S; Buchan, Alice; Brodermann, Maximillian H; Gianella-Borradori, Matteo; Russell, Angela; Iqbal, Asif J; Greaves, David R

    2015-06-02

    Activation of CB2 has been demonstrated to induce directed immune cell migration. However, the ability of CB2 to act as a chemoattractant receptor in macrophages remains largely unexplored. Using a real-time chemotaxis assay and a panel of chemically diverse and widely used CB2 agonists, we set out to examine whether CB2 modulates primary murine macrophage chemotaxis. We report that of 12 agonists tested, only JWH133, HU308, L-759,656 and L-759,633 acted as macrophage chemoattractants. Surprisingly, neither pharmacological inhibition nor genetic ablation of CB2 had any effect on CB2 agonist-induced macrophage chemotaxis. As chemotaxis was pertussis toxin sensitive in both WT and CB2(-/-) macrophages, we concluded that a non-CB1/CB2, Gi/o-coupled GPCR must be responsible for CB2 agonist-induced macrophage migration. The obvious candidate receptors GPR18 and GPR55 could not mediate JWH133 or HU308-induced cytoskeletal rearrangement or JWH133-induced β-arrestin recruitment in cells transfected with either receptor, demonstrating that neither are the unidentified GPCR. Taken together our results conclusively demonstrate that CB2 is not a chemoattractant receptor for murine macrophages. Furthermore we show for the first time that JWH133, HU308, L-759,656 and L-759,633 have off-target effects of functional consequence in primary cells and we believe that our findings have wide ranging implications for the entire cannabinoid field.

  5. Cannabinoid receptor-regulated cyclic AMP accumulation in the rat striatum.

    PubMed

    Bidaut-Russell, M; Howlett, A C

    1991-11-01

    The present study demonstrates that desacetyllevonantradol, a synthetic cannabinoid analog, reduces cyclic AMP levels in rat striatal slices stimulated with vasoactive intestinal peptide or SKF 38393, a D1-dopamine agonist. Desacetyllevonantradol and the D2 agonist LY 171555 both inhibited D1-stimulated cyclic AMP accumulation in the striatum. Spiperone, a specific D2-dopamine antagonist, fully reversed the inhibitory effect of LY 171555 but not that of desacetyllevonantradol, indicating that this cannabinoid response is not occurring through a D2-dopaminergic mechanism. Morphine also inhibited cyclic AMP accumulation in striatal slices stimulated with either SKF 38393 or vasoactive intestinal peptide. Naloxone, an opioid antagonist, fully reversed the effect of morphine but not that of desacetyllevonantradol, indicating that cannabinoid drugs are not acting via a mechanism involving opioid receptors. The response to maximally effective concentrations of desacetyllevonantradol was not additive to that of maximally effective concentrations of either morphine or LY 171555, suggesting that dopaminergic, opioid, and cannabinoid receptors may be present on the same populations of cells.

  6. The dynamic nature of type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) gene transcription

    PubMed Central

    Laprairie, RB; Kelly, MEM; Denovan-Wright, EM

    2012-01-01

    The type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) is an integral component of the endocannabinoid system that modulates several functions in the CNS and periphery. The majority of our knowledge of the endocannabinoid system involves ligand–receptor binding, mechanisms of signal transduction, and protein–protein interactions. In contrast, comparatively little is known about regulation of CB1 gene expression. The levels and anatomical distribution of CB1 mRNA and protein are developmental stage-specific and are dysregulated in several pathological conditions. Moreover, exposure to a variety of drugs, including cannabinoids themselves, alters CB1 gene expression and mRNA levels. As such, alterations in CB1 gene expression are likely to affect the optimal response to cannabinoid-based therapies, which are being developed to treat a growing number of conditions. Here, we will examine the regulation of CB1 mRNA levels and the therapeutic potential inherent in manipulating expression of this gene. Linked Articles This article is part of a themed section on Cannabinoids. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2012.167.issue-8 PMID:22924606

  7. Cannabinoid CB2 receptor attenuates morphine-induced inflammatory responses in activated microglial cells

    PubMed Central

    Merighi, Stefania; Gessi, Stefania; Varani, Katia; Fazzi, Debora; Mirandola, Prisco; Borea, Pier Andrea

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Among several pharmacological properties, analgesia is the most common feature shared by either opioid or cannabinoid systems. Cannabinoids and opioids are distinct drug classes that have been historically used separately or in combination to treat different pain states. In the present study, we characterized the signal transduction pathways mediated by cannabinoid CB2 and µ-opioid receptors in quiescent and LPS-stimulated murine microglial cells. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH We examined the effects of µ-opioid and CB2 receptor stimulation on phosphorylation of MAPKs and Akt and on IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6 and NO production in primary mouse microglial cells. KEY RESULTS Morphine enhanced release of the proinflammatory cytokines, IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6, and of NO via µ-opioid receptor in activated microglial cells. In contrast, CB2 receptor stimulation attenuated morphine-induced microglial proinflammatory mediator increases, interfering with morphine action by acting on the Akt-ERK1/2 signalling pathway. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS Because glial activation opposes opioid analgesia and enhances opioid tolerance and dependence, we suggest that CB2 receptors, by inhibiting microglial activity, may be potential targets to increase clinical efficacy of opioids. PMID:22428664

  8. Therapeutic potential of cannabinoid-based drugs.

    PubMed

    Klein, Thomas W; Newton, Catherine A

    2007-01-01

    Cannabinoid-based drugs modeled on cannabinoids originally isolated from marijuana are now known to significantly impact the functioning of the endocannabinoid system of mammals. This system operates not only in the brain but also in organs and tissues in the periphery including the immune system. Natural and synthetic cannabinoids are tricyclic terpenes, whereas the endogenous physiological ligands are eicosanoids. Several receptors for these compounds have been extensively described, CB1 and CB2, and are G protein-coupled receptors; however, cannabinoid-based drugs are also demonstrated to function independently of these receptors. Cannabinoids regulate many physiological functions and their impact on immunity is generally antiinflammatory as powerful modulators of the cytokine cascade. This anti-inflammatory potency has led to the testing of these drugs in chronic inflammatory laboratory paradigms and even in some human diseases. Psychoactive and nonpsychoactive cannabinoid-based drugs such as Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, HU-211, and ajulemic acid have been tested and found moderately effective in clinical trials of multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, arthritis, and neuropathic pain. Furthermore, although clinical trials are not yet reported, preclinical data with cannabinoid-based drugs suggest efficacy in other inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis.

  9. Cannabinoid receptor 1 promotes hepatocellular carcinoma initiation and progression through multiple mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Mukhopadhyay, Bani; Schuebel, Kornel; Mukhopadhyay, Partha; Cinar, Resat; Godlewski, Grzegorz; Xiong, Keming; Mackie, Ken; Lizak, Martin; Yuan, Qiaoping; Goldman, David; Kunos, George

    2015-05-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has high mortality and no adequate treatment. Endocannabinoids interact with hepatic cannabinoid 1 receptors (CB1Rs) to promote hepatocyte proliferation in liver regeneration by inducing cell cycle proteins involved in mitotic progression, including Forkhead Box M1. Because this protein is highly expressed in HCC and contributes to its genesis and progression, we analyzed the involvement of the endocannabinoid/CB1R system in murine and human HCC. Postnatal diethylnitrosamine treatment induced HCC within 8 months in wild-type mice but fewer and smaller tumors in CB1R(-/-) mice or in wild-type mice treated with the peripheral CB1R antagonist JD5037, as monitored in vivo by serial magnetic resonance imaging. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis revealed CB1R-dependent, tumor-induced up-regulation of the hepatic expression of CB1R, its endogenous ligand anandamide, and a number of tumor-promoting genes, including the GRB2 interactome as well as Forkhead Box M1 and its downstream target, the tryptophan-catalyzing enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase. Increased indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase activity and consequent induction of immunosuppressive T-regulatory cells in tumor tissue promote immune tolerance. The endocannabinoid/CB1R system is up-regulated in chemically induced HCC, resulting in the induction of various tumor-promoting genes, including indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase; and attenuation of these changes by blockade or genetic ablation of CB1R suppresses the growth of HCC and highlights the therapeutic potential of peripheral CB1R blockade. © 2015 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. This article has been contributed to by U.S. Government employees, and their work is in the public domain in the U.S.A.

  10. Small Molecules from Nature Targeting G-Protein Coupled Cannabinoid Receptors: Potential Leads for Drug Discovery and Development

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Charu; Sadek, Bassem; Goyal, Sameer N.; Sinha, Satyesh; Ojha, Shreesh

    2015-01-01

    The cannabinoid molecules are derived from Cannabis sativa plant which acts on the cannabinoid receptors types 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) which have been explored as potential therapeutic targets for drug discovery and development. Currently, there are numerous cannabinoid based synthetic drugs used in clinical practice like the popular ones such as nabilone, dronabinol, and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol mediates its action through CB1/CB2 receptors. However, these synthetic based Cannabis derived compounds are known to exert adverse psychiatric effect and have also been exploited for drug abuse. This encourages us to find out an alternative and safe drug with the least psychiatric adverse effects. In recent years, many phytocannabinoids have been isolated from plants other than Cannabis. Several studies have shown that these phytocannabinoids show affinity, potency, selectivity, and efficacy towards cannabinoid receptors and inhibit endocannabinoid metabolizing enzymes, thus reducing hyperactivity of endocannabinoid systems. Also, these naturally derived molecules possess the least adverse effects opposed to the synthetically derived cannabinoids. Therefore, the plant based cannabinoid molecules proved to be promising and emerging therapeutic alternative. The present review provides an overview of therapeutic potential of ligands and plants modulating cannabinoid receptors that may be of interest to pharmaceutical industry in search of new and safer drug discovery and development for future therapeutics. PMID:26664449

  11. Regulation of MMP-9 by a WIN-Binding Site in the Monocyte-Macrophage System Independent from Cannabinoid Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Tauber, Svantje; Paulsen, Katrin; Wolf, Susanne; Synwoldt, Peggy; Pahl, Andreas; Schneider-Stock, Regine; Ullrich, Oliver

    2012-01-01

    The cannabinoid system is known to be involved in the regulation of inflammatory processes. Therefore, drugs targeting cannabinoid receptors are considered as candidates for anti-inflammatory and tissue protective therapy. We demonstrated that the prototypical cannabinoid agonist R(+)WIN55,212-2 (WIN) reduced the secretion of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in a murine model of cigarette-smoke induced lung inflammation. In experiments using primary cells and cell lines of the monocyte-macrophage-system we found that binding of the cannabinoid-receptor agonist WIN to a stereo-selective, specific binding site in cells of the monocyte-macrophage-system induced a significant down-regulation of MMP-9 secretion and disturbance of intracellular processing, which subsequently down-regulated MMP-9 mRNA expression via a ERK1/2-phosphorylation-dependent pathway. Surprisingly, the anti-inflammatory effect was independent from classical cannabinoid receptors. Our experiments supposed an involvement of TRPV1, but other yet unidentified sites are also possible. We conclude that cannabinoid-induced control of MMP-9 in the monocyte-macrophage system via a cannabinoid-receptor independent pathway represents a general option for tissue protection during inflammation, such as during lung inflammation and other diseases associated with inflammatory tissue damage. PMID:23139770

  12. Receptome: Interactions between three pain-related receptors or the "Triumvirate" of cannabinoid, opioid and TRPV1 receptors.

    PubMed

    Zádor, Ferenc; Wollemann, Maria

    2015-12-01

    A growing amount of data demonstrates the interactions between cannabinoid, opioid and the transient receptor potential (TRP) vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) receptors. These interactions can be bidirectional, inhibitory or excitatory, acute or chronic in their nature, and arise both at the molecular level (structurally and functionally) and in physiological processes, such as pain modulation or perception. The interactions of these three pain-related receptors may also reserve important and new therapeutic applications for the treatment of chronic pain or inflammation. In this review, we summarize the main findings on the interactions between the cannabinoid, opioid and the TRPV1 receptor regarding to pain modulation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Impaired Excitatory Neurotransmission in the Urinary Bladder from the Obese Zucker Rat: Role of Cannabinoid Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Blaha, Igor; Recio, Paz; Martínez, María Pilar; López-Oliva, María Elvira; Ribeiro, Ana S. F.; Agis-Torres, Ángel; Martínez, Ana Cristina; Benedito, Sara; García-Sacristán, Albino; Fernandes, Vítor S.; Hernández, Medardo

    2016-01-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a known risk factor for lower urinary tract symptoms. This study investigates whether functional and expression changes of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors are involved in the bladder dysfunction in an obese rat model with insulin resistance. Bladder samples from obese Zucker rat (OZR) and their respective controls lean Zucker rat (LZR) were processed for immunohistochemistry and western blot for studying the cannabinoid receptors expression. Detrusor smooth muscle (DSM) strips from LZR and OZR were also mounted in myographs for isometric force recordings. Neuronal and smooth muscle CB1 and CB2 receptor expression and the nerve fiber density was diminished in the OZR bladder. Electrical field stimulation (EFS) and acetylcholine (ACh) induced frequency- and concentration-dependent contractions of LZR and OZR DSM. ACh contractile responses were similar in LZR and OZR. EFS-elicited contractions, however, were reduced in OZR bladder. Cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists failed to modify the DSM basal tension in LZR and OZR In LZR bladder, EFS responses were inhibited by ACEA and SER-601, CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists, respectively, these effects being reversed by ACEA plus the CB1 antagonist, AM-251 or SER-601 plus the CB2 antagonist, AM-630. In OZR bladder, the inhibitory action of ACEA on nerve-evoked contractions was diminished, whereas that SER-601 did not change EFS responses. These results suggest that a diminished function and expression of neuronal cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, as well as a lower nerve fiber density is involved in the impaired excitatory neurotransmission of the urinary bladder from the OZR. PMID:27285468

  14. Impaired Excitatory Neurotransmission in the Urinary Bladder from the Obese Zucker Rat: Role of Cannabinoid Receptors.

    PubMed

    Blaha, Igor; Recio, Paz; Martínez, María Pilar; López-Oliva, María Elvira; Ribeiro, Ana S F; Agis-Torres, Ángel; Martínez, Ana Cristina; Benedito, Sara; García-Sacristán, Albino; Fernandes, Vítor S; Hernández, Medardo

    2016-01-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a known risk factor for lower urinary tract symptoms. This study investigates whether functional and expression changes of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors are involved in the bladder dysfunction in an obese rat model with insulin resistance. Bladder samples from obese Zucker rat (OZR) and their respective controls lean Zucker rat (LZR) were processed for immunohistochemistry and western blot for studying the cannabinoid receptors expression. Detrusor smooth muscle (DSM) strips from LZR and OZR were also mounted in myographs for isometric force recordings. Neuronal and smooth muscle CB1 and CB2 receptor expression and the nerve fiber density was diminished in the OZR bladder. Electrical field stimulation (EFS) and acetylcholine (ACh) induced frequency- and concentration-dependent contractions of LZR and OZR DSM. ACh contractile responses were similar in LZR and OZR. EFS-elicited contractions, however, were reduced in OZR bladder. Cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists failed to modify the DSM basal tension in LZR and OZR In LZR bladder, EFS responses were inhibited by ACEA and SER-601, CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists, respectively, these effects being reversed by ACEA plus the CB1 antagonist, AM-251 or SER-601 plus the CB2 antagonist, AM-630. In OZR bladder, the inhibitory action of ACEA on nerve-evoked contractions was diminished, whereas that SER-601 did not change EFS responses. These results suggest that a diminished function and expression of neuronal cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, as well as a lower nerve fiber density is involved in the impaired excitatory neurotransmission of the urinary bladder from the OZR.

  15. Excitatory transmission to the circular muscle of the guinea-pig ileum: evidence for the involvement of cannabinoid CB1 receptors.

    PubMed

    Izzo, A A; Mascolo, N; Borrelli, F; Capasso, F

    1998-08-01

    1. The effect of cannabinoid drugs has been investigated on cholinergic and non-adrenergic non-cholinergic (NANC) contractile responses to the circular smooth muscle of guinea-pig ileum elicited by electrical field stimulation (EFS). 2. The cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN 55,212-2 (1-1000 nM) and the putative endogenous ligand anandamide (0.1-100 microM) both produced a concentration-dependent inhibition of the cholinergic (9-57% and 1-51% inhibition) and NANC (9 55% and 2-57% inhibition) contractile responses. WIN 55,212-2 and anandamide did not modify the contractions produced by exogenous acetylcholine or substance P. 3. Apamin (30 nM), a blocker of Ca2+-activated K+ channels, reduced the inhibitory effect of WIN 55,212-2 on cholinergic, but not NANC, contractile response. NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (100 microM), an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, or naloxone (1 microM), an opioid receptors antagonist, did not modify the inhibitory effect of WIN 55,212-2 on both cholinergic and NANC contractions. 4. The inhibitory effects of WIN 55,212-2 and anandamide on both cholinergic and NANC contractile response was competitively antagonized by the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist SR 141716A (10-1000 nM). 5. In absence of other drugs, SR 141716A (1-1000 nM) enhanced cholinergic (1-45% increase) and NANC (2-38% increase) contractile responses elicited by electrical stimulation, but did not modify the contractions produced by acetylcholine or substance P. 6. It is concluded that activation of prejunctional cannabinoid CB1 receptors produces inhibition of cholinergic and NANC excitatory responses in the guinea-pig circular muscle. The inhibition of cholinergic (but not NANC) transmission involves activation of apamin-sensitive K+ channels. In addition, an endogenous cannabinoid ligand could inhibit cholinergic and NANC transmission in the guinea-pig ileal circular muscle.

  16. Strain differences in the expression of endocannabinoid genes and in cannabinoid receptor binding in the brain of Lewis and Fischer 344 rats.

    PubMed

    Coria, Santiago M; Roura-Martínez, David; Ucha, Marcos; Assis, María Amparo; Miguéns, Miguel; García-Lecumberri, Carmen; Higuera-Matas, Alejandro; Ambrosio, Emilio

    2014-08-04

    The Lewis (LEW) and Fischer 344 (F344) rat strains have been proposed as a model to study certain genetic influences on drug use. These strains differ in terms of the self-administration of several drugs, and in their expression of various components of the dopaminergic, glutamatergic, GABAergic and endogenous opioid neurotransmitter systems. As the endocannabinoid system is linked to these systems, we investigated whether these two strains exhibit differences in cannabinoid receptor binding and in the expression of cannabinoid-related genes. Quantitative autoradiography of [(3)H]-CP 55,940 binding levels and real-time PCR assays were used. F344 rats displayed higher levels of cannabinoid receptor binding in the lateral globus pallidus and weaker CNR1 gene expression in the prefrontal cortex (PFc) than LEW rats. Moreover, the N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine-specific phospholipase D/fatty acid amide hydrolase ratio was greater in the PFc and NAcc of F344 rats. Our results suggest that the endocannabinoid system may be a mediator of the individual differences that exist in the susceptibility to the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Impact of efficacy at the μ-opioid receptor on antinociceptive effects of combinations of μ-opioid receptor agonists and cannabinoid receptor agonists.

    PubMed

    Maguire, David R; France, Charles P

    2014-11-01

    Cannabinoid receptor agonists, such as Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC), enhance the antinociceptive effects of μ-opioid receptor agonists, which suggests that combining cannabinoids with opioids would improve pain treatment. Combinations with lower efficacy agonists might be preferred and could avoid adverse effects associated with large doses; however, it is unclear whether interactions between opioids and cannabinoids vary across drugs with different efficacy. The antinociceptive effects of μ-opioid receptor agonists alone and in combination with cannabinoid receptor agonists were studied in rhesus monkeys (n = 4) using a warm water tail withdrawal procedure. Etorphine, fentanyl, morphine, buprenorphine, nalbuphine, Δ(9)-THC, and CP 55,940 (2-[(1R,2R,5R)-5-hydroxy-2-(3-hydroxypropyl) cyclohexyl]-5-(2-methyloctan-2-yl)phenol) each increased tail withdrawal latency. Pretreatment with doses of Δ(9)-THC (1.0 mg/kg) or CP 55,940 (0.032 mg/kg) that were ineffective alone shifted the fentanyl dose-effect curve leftward 20.6- and 52.9-fold, respectively, and the etorphine dose-effect curve leftward 12.4- and 19.6-fold, respectively. Δ(9)-THC and CP 55,940 shifted the morphine dose-effect curve leftward only 3.4- and 7.9-fold, respectively, and the buprenorphine curve only 5.4- and 4.1-fold, respectively. Neither Δ(9)-THC nor CP 55,940 significantly altered the effects of nalbuphine. Cannabinoid receptor agonists increase the antinociceptive potency of higher efficacy opioid receptor agonists more than lower efficacy agonists; however, because much smaller doses of each drug can be administered in combinations while achieving adequate pain relief and that other (e.g., abuse-related) effects of opioids do not appear to be enhanced by cannabinoids, these results provide additional support for combining opioids with cannabinoids to treat pain.

  18. Neuroprotective effect of endogenous cannabinoids on ischemic brain injury induced by the excess microglia-mediated inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Shuyun; Liu, Yanwu; Ma, Rui; Li, Jun; Su, Binxiao

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidence has demonstrated the role of endogenous cannabinoids system (ECS) on protecting brain injury caused by ischemia (IMI). Papers reported that microglia-mediated inflammation has become one of the most pivotal mechanisms for IMI. This study was aimed to investigate the potential roles of ECS on neuron protection under microglia-mediated inflammation. Inflammatory cytokines level both in vitro (BV-2 cells) and in vivo (brain tissue from constructed IMI model and brain-isolated microglia) was detected. ECS levels were detected, and its effects on inflammations was also analyzed. Influence of microglia-mediated inflammation on neuron injury was analyzed. Moreover, the effects of ECS on protecting neuron injury were also analyzed. Our results showed that the levels of inflammatory cytokines including TNFα and IL-1β were higher while IKBα was lower in IMI model brain tissue, brain-isolated microglia and BV-2 cells compared to the control. Inflammation was activated in microglia, as well as the activation of ECS characterized by the increasing level of AEA and 2-AG. Furthermore, the activated microglia-mediated self-inflammation performed harmful influence on neurons via suppressing cell viability and inducing apoptosis. Moreover, ECS functioned as a protector on neuron injury though promoting cell proliferation and suppressing cell apoptosis which were caused by the activated BV-2 cells (LPS induced for 3 h). Our data suggested that ECS may play certain neuroprotective effects on microglia-mediated inflammations-induced IMI through anti-inflammatory function. PMID:27398146

  19. Rising stars: modulation of brain functions by astroglial type-1 cannabinoid receptors.

    PubMed

    Metna-Laurent, Mathilde; Marsicano, Giovanni

    2015-03-01

    The type-1-cannabinoid (CB1 ) receptor is amongst the most widely expressed G protein-coupled receptors in the brain. In few decades, CB1 receptors have been shown to regulate a large array of functions from brain cell development and survival to complex cognitive processes. Understanding the cellular mechanisms underlying these functions of CB1 is complex due to the heterogeneity of the brain cell types on which the receptor is expressed. Although the large majority of CB1 receptors act on neurons, early studies pointed to a direct control of CB1 receptors over astroglial functions including brain energy supply and neuroprotection. In line with the growing concept of the tripartite synapse highlighting astrocytes as direct players in synaptic plasticity, astroglial CB1 receptor signaling recently emerged as the mediator of several forms of synaptic plasticity associated to important cognitive functions. Here, we shortly review the current knowledge on CB1 receptor-mediated astroglial functions. This functional spectrum is large and most of the mechanisms by which CB1 receptors control astrocytes, as well as their consequences in vivo, are still unknown, requiring innovative approaches to improve this new cannabinoid research field. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Cannabinoid Type 1 Receptors Transiently Silence Glutamatergic Nerve Terminals of Cultured Cerebellar Granule Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez-Franco, Jorge; Bartolomé-Martín, David; Alonso, Beatris; Torres, Magdalena; Sánchez-Prieto, José

    2014-01-01

    Cannabinoid receptors are the most abundant G protein-coupled receptors in the brain and they mediate retrograde short-term inhibition of neurotransmitter release, as well as long-term depression of synaptic transmission at many excitatory synapses. The induction of presynaptically silent synapses is a means of modulating synaptic strength, which is important for synaptic plasticity. Persistent activation of cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB1Rs) mutes GABAergic terminals, although it is unclear if CB1Rs can also induce silencing at glutamatergic synapses. Cerebellar granule cells were transfected with VGLUT1-pHluorin to visualise the exo-endocytotic cycle. We found that prolonged stimulation (10 min) of cannabinoid receptors with the agonist HU-210 induces the silencing of previously active synapses. However, the presynaptic silencing induced by HU-210 is transient as it reverses after 20 min. cAMP with forskolin prevented CB1R-induced synaptic silencing, via activation of the Exchange Protein directly Activated by cAMP (Epac). Furthermore, Epac activation accelerated awakening of already silent boutons. Electron microscopy revealed that silencing was associated with synaptic vesicle (SV) redistribution within the nerve terminal, which diminished the number of vesicles close to the active zone of the plasma membrane. Finally, by combining functional and immunocytochemical approaches, we observed a strong correlation between the release capacity of the nerve terminals and RIM1α protein content, but not that of Munc13-1 protein. These results suggest that prolonged stimulation of cannabinoid receptors can transiently silence glutamatergic nerve terminals. PMID:24533119

  1. The role of cannabinoid receptors and the endocannabinoid system in mantle cell lymphoma and other non-Hodgkin lymphomas.

    PubMed

    Wasik, Agata M; Christensson, Birger; Sander, Birgitta

    2011-11-01

    The initiating oncogenic event in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is the translocation of cyclin D1, t(11;14)(q13;q32). However, other genetic aberrations are necessary for an overt lymphoma to arise. Like other B cell lymphomas, MCL at some points during the oncogenesis is dependent on interactions with other cells and factors in the microenvironment. The G protein coupled receptors cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) are expressed at low levels on non-malignant lymphocytes and at higher levels in MCL and other lymphoma subtypes. In this review we give an overview of what is known on the role of the cannabinoid receptors and their ligands in lymphoma as compared to non-malignant T and B lymphocytes. In MCL cannabinoids mainly reduce cell proliferation and induce cell death. Importantly, our recent findings demonstrate that cannabinoids may induce either apoptosis or another type of programmed cell death, cytoplasmic vacuolation/paraptosis in MCL. The signalling to death has been partly characterized. Even though cannabinoid receptors seem to be expressed in many other types of B cell lymphoma, the functional role of cannabinoid receptor targeting is yet largely unknown. In non-malignant B and T lymphocytes, cannabinoid receptors are up-regulated in response to antigen receptor signalling or CD40. For T lymphocytes IL-4 has also a crucial role in transcriptional regulation of CB1. In lymphocytes, cannabinoid act in several ways - by affecting cell migration, cytokine response, at high doses inhibit cell proliferation and inducing cell death. The possible role for the endocannabinoid system in the immune microenvironment of lymphoma is discussed.

  2. Activation of murine microglial N9 cells is attenuated through cannabinoid receptor CB2 signaling.

    PubMed

    Ma, Lei; Jia, Ji; Liu, Xiangyu; Bai, Fuhai; Wang, Qiang; Xiong, Lize

    2015-02-27

    Inhibition of microglial activation is effective in treating various neurological disorders. Activation of microglial cannabinoid CB2 receptor induces anti-inflammatory effects, and the mechanism, however, is still elusive. Microglia could be activated into the classic activated state (M1 state) or the alternative activated state (M2 state), the former is cytotoxic, and the latter is neurotrophic. In this study, we used lipopolysaccharide (LPS) plus interferon-γ (IFNγ) to activate N9 microglia and hypothesized the pretreatment with cannabinoid CB2 receptor agonist AM1241 attenuates microglial activation by shifting microglial M1 to M2 state. We found that pretreatment with 5 μM AM1241 at 1 h before microglia were exposed to LPS plus IFNγ decreased the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and the release of pro-inflammatory factors, increased the expression of arginase 1 (Arg-1) and the release of anti-inflammatory and neurotrophic factors in microglia. However, these effects induced by AM1241 pretreatment were significantly reversed in the presence of 10 μM cannabinoid CB2 receptor antagonist AM630 or 10 μM protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor chelerythrine. These findings indicated that AM1241 pretreatment attenuates microglial activation by shifting M1 to M2 activated state via CB2 receptor, and the AM1241-induced anti-inflammatory effects may be mediated by PKC. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. [Endorphines--the endogenous ligands of opiate receptors (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Teschemacher, H

    1978-01-01

    The demonstration of opiate receptors in the nervous tissue of vertebrates in 1973 was the starting point of an intensive search for the endogenous ligands of these receptors. During the following years, several of such "edogenous opiates", called "endorphines", were isolated from various tissues of the mammalian organism. These are peptides which are able to elicit the same effects as do opiates. Possibly, they play a role in the reaction of the organism to stress.

  4. The Search for Endogenous Activators of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Linh P.; Bradfield, Christopher A.

    2008-01-01

    In its simplest aspect, this review is an attempt to describe the major ligand classes of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). A grander objective is to provide models that may help define the physiological activator or “endogenous ligand” of the AHR. We begin by presenting evidence that supports a developmental function for the AHR. This is followed by proposing mechanisms by which an endogenous ligand and consequent AHR activation might be important during normal physiology and development. With this background, we then present a survey of the known xenobiotic, endogenous, dietary and “un-conventional” activators of the AHR. When possible, this includes information about their induction potency, receptor binding affinity and potential for exposure. Because of the essential function of the AHR in embryonic development, we discuss the candidacy of each of these compounds as physiologically important activators. PMID:18076143

  5. Regulation of endogenous transmembrane receptors through optogenetic Cry2 clustering.

    PubMed

    Bugaj, L J; Spelke, D P; Mesuda, C K; Varedi, M; Kane, R S; Schaffer, D V

    2015-04-22

    Transmembrane receptors are the predominant conduit through which cells sense and transduce extracellular information into intracellular biochemical signals. Current methods to control and study receptor function, however, suffer from poor resolution in space and time and often employ receptor overexpression, which can introduce experimental artefacts. We report a genetically encoded approach, termed Clustering Indirectly using Cryptochrome 2 (CLICR), for spatiotemporal control over endogenous transmembrane receptor activation, enabled through the optical regulation of target receptor clustering and downstream signalling using noncovalent interactions with engineered Arabidopsis Cryptochrome 2 (Cry2). CLICR offers a modular platform to enable photocontrol of the clustering of diverse transmembrane receptors including fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR), platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) and integrins in multiple cell types including neural stem cells. Furthermore, light-inducible manipulation of endogenous receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) activity can modulate cell polarity and establish phototaxis in fibroblasts. The resulting spatiotemporal control over cellular signalling represents a powerful new optogenetic framework for investigating and controlling cell function and fate.

  6. Biased Agonism of Three Different Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists in Mouse Brain Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Diez-Alarcia, Rebeca; Ibarra-Lecue, Inés; Lopez-Cardona, Ángela P.; Meana, Javier; Gutierrez-Adán, Alfonso; Callado, Luis F.; Agirregoitia, Ekaitz; Urigüen, Leyre

    2016-01-01

    Cannabinoid receptors are able to couple to different families of G proteins when activated by an agonist drug. It has been suggested that different intracellular responses may be activated depending on the ligand. The goal of the present study was to characterize the pattern of G protein subunit stimulation triggered by three different cannabinoid ligands, Δ9-THC, WIN55212-2, and ACEA in mouse brain cortex. Stimulation of the [35S]GTPγS binding coupled to specific immunoprecipitation with antibodies against different subtypes of G proteins (Gαi1, Gαi2, Gαi3, Gαo, Gαz, Gαs, Gαq/11, and Gα12/13), in the presence of Δ9-THC, WIN55212-2 and ACEA (submaximal concentration 10 μM) was determined by scintillation proximity assay (SPA) technique in mouse cortex of wild type, CB1 knock-out, CB2 knock-out and CB1/CB2 double knock-out mice. Results show that, in mouse brain cortex, cannabinoid agonists are able to significantly stimulate not only the classical inhibitory Gαi/o subunits but also other G subunits like Gαz, Gαq/11, and Gα12/13. Moreover, the specific pattern of G protein subunit activation is different depending on the ligand. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that, in mice brain native tissue, different exogenous cannabinoid ligands are able to selectively activate different inhibitory and non-inhibitory Gα protein subtypes, through the activation of CB1 and/or CB2 receptors. Results of the present study may help to understand the specific molecular pathways involved in the pharmacological effects of cannabinoid-derived drugs. PMID:27867358

  7. Cannabinoid CB₁ receptor is downregulated in clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Larrinaga, Gorka; Sanz, Begoña; Pérez, Itxaro; Blanco, Lorena; Cándenas, María L; Pinto, Francisco M; Gil, Javier; López, José I

    2010-12-01

    Several studies in cell cultures and in animal models have demonstrated that cannabinoids have important antitumoral properties. Because many of these effects are mediated through cannabinoid (CB) receptors CB₁ and CB₂, the study of their expression in human neoplasms has become of great interest in recent years. Fresh and formalin-fixed tissue samples of 20 consecutive clear cell renal cell carcinomas (CCRCCs) were collected prospectively and analyzed for the expression of both CB receptors by using RT-PCR, Western blot (WB), and immunohistochemical techniques. RT-PCR assays demonstrated the expression of mRNA encoding the CB₁ in tumor tissue and in adjacent non-neoplastic kidney. Conversely, WB and IHC revealed a marked downregulation of CB₁ protein in tumor tissue; CB₂ was not expressed. The obtained data suggest a possible implication of the endocannabinoid system in renal carcinogenesis. A posttranscriptional downregulation of CB₁ and the absence of expression of CB₂ characterize CCRCC.

  8. Cannabinoid CB{sub 1} receptor inhibition decreases vascular smooth muscle migration and proliferation

    SciTech Connect

    Rajesh, Mohanraj; Mukhopadhyay, Partha; Hasko, Gyoergy; Pacher, Pal

    2008-12-26

    Vascular smooth muscle proliferation and migration triggered by inflammatory stimuli and chemoattractants such as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) are key events in the development and progression of atherosclerosis and restenosis. Cannabinoids may modulate cell proliferation and migration in various cell types through cannabinoid receptors. Here we investigated the effects of CB{sub 1} receptor antagonist rimonabant (SR141716A), which has recently been shown to have anti-atherosclerotic effects both in mice and humans, on PDGF-induced proliferation, migration, and signal transduction of human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (HCASMCs). PDGF induced Ras and ERK 1/2 activation, while increasing proliferation and migration of HCASMCs, which were dose dependently attenuated by CB{sub 1} antagonist, rimonabant. These findings suggest that in addition to improving plasma lipid alterations and decreasing inflammatory cell migration and inflammatory response, CB{sub 1} antagonists may exert beneficial effects in atherosclerosis and restenosis by decreasing vascular smooth muscle proliferation and migration.

  9. Control of spasticity in a multiple sclerosis model using central nervous system-excluded CB1 cannabinoid receptor agonists.

    PubMed

    Pryce, Gareth; Visintin, Cristina; Ramagopalan, Sreeram V; Al-Izki, Sarah; De Faveri, Lia E; Nuamah, Rosamond A; Mein, Charles A; Montpetit, Alexandre; Hardcastle, Alison J; Kooij, Gijs; de Vries, Helga E; Amor, Sandra; Thomas, Sarah A; Ledent, Catherine; Marsicano, Giovanni; Lutz, Beat; Thompson, Alan J; Selwood, David L; Giovannoni, Gavin; Baker, David

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was the generation of central nervous system (CNS)-excluded cannabinoid receptor agonists to test the hypothesis that inhibition of spasticity, due to CNS autoimmunity, could be controlled by affecting neurotransmission within the periphery. Procedures included identification of chemicals and modeling to predict the mode of exclusion; induction and control of spasticity in the ABH mouse model of multiple sclerosis; conditional deletion of CB1 receptor in peripheral nerves; side-effect profiling to demonstrate the mechanism of CNS-exclusion via drug pumps; genome-wide association study in N2(129×ABH) backcross to map polymorphic cannabinoid drug pump; and sequencing and detection of cannabinoid drug-pump activity in human brain endothelial cell lines. Three drugs (CT3, SAB378 and SAD448) were identified that control spasticity via action on the peripheral nerve CB1 receptor. These were peripherally restricted via drug pumps that limit the CNS side effects (hypothermia) of cannabinoids to increase the therapeutic window. A cannabinoid drug pump is polymorphic and functionally lacking in many laboratory (C57BL/6, 129, CD-1) mice used for transgenesis, pharmacology, and toxicology studies. This phenotype was mapped and controlled by 1-3 genetic loci. ABCC1 within a cluster showing linkage is a cannabinoid CNS-drug pump. Global and conditional CB1 receptor-knockout mice were used as controls. In summary, CNS-excluded CB1 receptor agonists are a novel class of therapeutic agent for spasticity.

  10. Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs.

    PubMed

    Nagarkatti, Prakash; Pandey, Rupal; Rieder, Sadiye Amcaoglu; Hegde, Venkatesh L; Nagarkatti, Mitzi

    2009-10-01

    Cannabinoids are a group of compounds that mediate their effects through cannabinoid receptors. The discovery of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as the major psychoactive principle in marijuana, as well as the identification of cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands, has led to a significant growth in research aimed at understanding the physiological functions of cannabinoids. Cannabinoid receptors include CB1, which is predominantly expressed in the brain, and CB2, which is primarily found on the cells of the immune system. The fact that both CB1 and CB2 receptors have been found on immune cells suggests that cannabinoids play an important role in the regulation of the immune system. Recent studies demonstrated that administration of THC into mice triggered marked apoptosis in T cells and dendritic cells, resulting in immunosuppression. In addition, several studies showed that cannabinoids downregulate cytokine and chemokine production and, in some models, upregulate T-regulatory cells (Tregs) as a mechanism to suppress inflammatory responses. The endocannabinoid system is also involved in immunoregulation. For example, administration of endocannabinoids or use of inhibitors of enzymes that break down the endocannabinoids, led to immunosuppression and recovery from immune-mediated injury to organs such as the liver. Manipulation of endocannabinoids and/or use of exogenous cannabinoids in vivo can constitute a potent treatment modality against inflammatory disorders. This review will focus on the potential use of cannabinoids as a new class of anti-inflammatory agents against a number of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases that are primarily triggered by activated T cells or other cellular immune components.

  11. Cannabinoid CB(1) receptor expression and affinity in the rat hippocampus following bilateral vestibular deafferentation.

    PubMed

    Baek, Jean Ha; Zheng, Yiwen; Darlington, Cynthia L; Smith, Paul F

    2011-01-10

    Numerous studies have shown that bilateral vestibular deafferentation (BVD) results in spatial memory deficits and hippocampal dysfunction in rats and humans. Since cannabinoid CB(1) receptors are well known to regulate synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, we investigated whether BVD resulted in changes in CB(1) receptor expression and affinity in the rat hippocampus at 1, 3 and 7 days post-surgery, using a combination of Western blotting and radioligand binding. Using Western blotting, we found that CB(1) receptor expression was significantly lower in BVD animals compared to sham controls only in the CA3 area across the 3 time points (P=0.03). CB(1) receptor expression decreased significantly over time for both the BVD and sham animals (P=0.000). The radioligand binding assays showed no significant change in the IC(50) of the CB(1) receptor for the cannabinoid CB(1)/CB(2) receptor agonist, WIN55,212-2. These results suggest that the CB(1) receptor down-regulates in the CA3 region of the hippocampus following BVD, but with no changes in the affinity of the CB(1) receptor for WIN55,212-2.

  12. Cortical adrenoceptor expression, function and adaptation under conditions of cannabinoid receptor deletion.

    PubMed

    Reyes, B A S; Carvalho, A F; Szot, P; Kalamarides, D J; Wang, Q; Kirby, L G; Van Bockstaele, E J

    2017-03-21

    A neurochemical target at which cannabinoids interact to have global effects on behavior is brain noradrenergic circuitry. Acute and repeated administration of a cannabinoid receptor synthetic agonist is capable of increasing multiple indices of noradrenergic activity. This includes cannabinoid-induced 1) increases in norepinephrine (NE) release in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC); 2) desensitization of cortical α2-adrenoceptor-mediated effects; 3) activation of c-Fos in brainstem locus coeruleus (LC) noradrenergic neurons; and 4) increases in anxiety-like behaviors. In the present study, we sought to examine adaptations in adrenoceptor expression and function under conditions of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1r) deletion using knockout (KO) mice and compare these to wild type (WT) controls. Electrophysiological analysis of α2-adrenoceptor-mediated responses in mPFC slices in WT mice showed a clonidine-induced α2-adrenoceptor-mediated increase in mPFC cell excitability coupled with an increase in input resistance. In contrast, CB1r KO mice showed an α2-adrenoceptor-mediated decrease in mPFC cell excitability. We then examined protein expression levels of α2- and β1-adrenoceptor subtypes in the mPFC as well as TH expression in the locus coeruleus (LC) of mice deficient in CB1r. Both α2- and β1-adrenoceptors exhibited a significant decrease in expression levels in CB1r KO mice when compared to WT in the mPFC, while a significant increase in TH was observed in the LC. To better define whether the same cortical neurons express α2A-adrenoceptor and CB1r in mPFC, we utilized high-resolution immunoelectron microscopy. We localized α2A-adrenoceptors in a knock-in mouse that expressed a hemoagglutinin (HA) tag downstream of the α2A-adrenoceptor promoter. Although the α2A-adrenoceptor was often identified pre-synaptically, we observed co-localization of CB1r with α2-adrenoceptors post-synaptically in the same mPFC neurons. Finally, using receptor binding, we

  13. Effect of the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55212-2 on sympathetic cardiovascular regulation

    PubMed Central

    Niederhoffer, Nathalie; Szabo, Bela

    1999-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to analyse the cardiovascular actions of the synthetic CB1/CB2 cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55212-2, and specifically to determine its sites of action on sympathetic cardiovascular regulation. Pithed rabbits in which the sympathetic outflow was continuously stimulated electrically or which received a pressor infusion of noradrenaline were used to study peripheral prejunctional and direct vascular effects, respectively. For studying effects on brain stem cardiovascular regulatory centres, drugs were administered into the cisterna cerebellomedullaris in conscious rabbits. Overall cardiovascular effects of the cannabinoid were studied in conscious rabbits with intravenous drug administration. In pithed rabbits in which the sympathetic outflow was continuously electrically stimulated, intravenous injection of WIN55212-2 (5, 50 and 500 μg kg−1) markedly reduced blood pressure, the spillover of noradrenaline into plasma and the plasma noradrenaline concentration, and these effects were antagonized by the CB1 cannabinoid receptor-selective antagonist SR141716A. The hypotensive and the sympathoinhibitory effect of WIN55212-2 was shared by CP55940, another mixed CB1/CB2 cannabinoid receptor agonist, but not by WIN55212-3, the enantiomer of WIN55212-2, which lacks affinity for cannabinoid binding sites. WIN55212-2 had no effect on vascular tone established by infusion of noradrenaline in pithed rabbits. Intracisternal application of WIN55212-2 (0.1, 1 and 10 μg kg−1) in conscious rabbits increased blood pressure and the plasma noradrenaline concentration and elicited bradycardia; this latter effect was antagonized by atropine. In conscious animals, intravenous injection of WIN55212-2 (5 and 50 μg kg−1) caused bradycardia, slight hypotension, no change in the plasma noradrenaline concentration, and an increase in renal sympathetic nerve firing. The highest dose of WIN55212-2 (500 μg kg−1) elicited hypotension and

  14. Human metabolites of synthetic cannabinoids JWH-018 and JWH-073 bind with high affinity and act as potent agonists at cannabinoid type-2 receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Rajasekaran, Maheswari; Brents, Lisa K.; Franks, Lirit N.; Moran, Jeffery H.; Prather, Paul L.

    2013-06-01

    K2 or Spice is an emerging drug of abuse that contains synthetic cannabinoids, including JWH-018 and JWH-073. Recent reports indicate that monohydroxylated metabolites of JWH-018 and JWH-073 retain high affinity and activity at cannabinoid type-1 receptors (CB{sub 1}Rs), potentially contributing to the enhanced toxicity of K2 compared to marijuana. Since the parent compounds also bind to cannabinoid type-2 receptors (CB{sub 2}Rs), this study investigated the affinity and intrinsic activity of JWH-018, JWH-073 and several monohydroxylated metabolites at human CB{sub 2}Rs (hCB{sub 2}Rs). The affinity of cannabinoids for hCB{sub 2}Rs was determined by competition binding studies employing CHO-hCB{sub 2} membranes. Intrinsic activity of compounds was assessed by G-protein activation and adenylyl cyclase (AC)-inhibition in CHO-hCB{sub 2} cells. JWH-073, JWH-018 and several of their human metabolites exhibit nanomolar affinity and act as potent agonists at hCB{sub 2}Rs. Furthermore, a major omega hydroxyl metabolite of JWH-073 (JWH-073-M5) binds to CB{sub 2}Rs with 10-fold less affinity than the parent molecule, but unexpectedly, is equipotent in regulating AC-activity when compared to the parent molecule. Finally, when compared to CP-55,940 and Δ{sup 9}-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ{sup 9}-THC), JWH-018, JWH-018-M5 and JWH-073-M5 require significantly less CB{sub 2}R occupancy to produce similar levels of AC-inhibition, indicating that these compounds may more efficiently couple CB{sub 2}Rs to AC than the well characterized cannabinoid agonists examined. These results indicate that JWH-018, JWH-073 and several major human metabolites of these compounds exhibit high affinity and demonstrate distinctive signaling properties at CB{sub 2}Rs. Therefore, future studies examining pharmacological and toxicological properties of synthetic cannabinoids present in K2 products should consider potential actions of these drugs at both CB{sub 1} and CB{sub 2}Rs. - Highlights: • JWH-018

  15. Activation of the cannabinoid type-1 receptor mediates the anticonvulsant properties of cannabinoids in the hippocampal neuronal culture models of acquired epilepsy and status epilepticus.

    PubMed

    Blair, Robert E; Deshpande, Laxmikant S; Sombati, Sompong; Falenski, Katherine W; Martin, Billy R; DeLorenzo, Robert J

    2006-06-01

    Cannabinoids have been shown to have anticonvulsant properties, but no studies have evaluated the effects of cannabinoids in the hippocampal neuronal culture models of acquired epilepsy (AE) and status epilepticus (SE). This study investigated the anticonvulsant properties of the cannabinoid receptor agonist R(+)-[2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-[(morpholinyl)methyl]pyrrolol[1,2,3 de]-1,4-benzoxazinyl]-(1-naphthalenyl)methanone (WIN 55,212-2) in primary hippocampal neuronal culture models of both AE and SE. WIN 55,212-2 produced dose-dependent anticonvulsant effects against both spontaneous recurrent epileptiform discharges (SRED) (EC50 = 0.85 microM) and SE (EC50 = 1.51 microM), with total suppression of seizure activity at 3 microM and of SE activity at 5 microM. The anticonvulsant properties of WIN 55,212-2 in these preparations were both stereospecific and blocked by the cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptor antagonist N-(piperidin-1-yl-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamidehydrochloride (SR141716A; 1 microM), showing a CB1 receptor-dependent pathway. The inhibitory effect of WIN 55,212-2 against low Mg2+-induced SE is the first observation in this model of total suppression of SE by a selective pharmacological agent. The clinically used anticonvulsants phenytoin and phenobarbital were not able to abolish low Mg2+-induced SE at concentrations up to 150 microM. The results from this study show CB1 receptor-mediated anticonvulsant effects of the cannabimimetic WIN 55,212-2 against both SRED and low Mg2+-induced SE in primary hippocampal neuronal cultures and show that these in vitro models of AE and SE may represent powerful tools to investigate the molecular mechanisms mediating the effects of cannabinoids on neuronal excitability.

  16. CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptor expression during development and in epileptogenic developmental pathologies.

    PubMed

    Zurolo, E; Iyer, A M; Spliet, W G M; Van Rijen, P C; Troost, D; Gorter, J A; Aronica, E

    2010-09-29

    Recent data support the involvement of the endocannabinoid signaling in early brain development, as well as a key role of cannabinoid receptors (CBR) in pathological conditions associated with unbalanced neuronal excitability and inflammation. Using immunocytochemistry, we explored the expression and cellular pattern of CBR 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) during prenatal human cortical development, as well as in focal malformations of cortical development associated with intractable epilepsy (focal cortical dysplasia; cortical tubers in patients with the tuberous sclerosis complex and glioneuronal tumors). Strong CB1 immunoreactivity was detected in the cortical plate in developing human brain from the earliest stages tested (gestational week 9) and it persisted throughout prenatal development. Both cannabinoid receptors were not detected in neural progenitor cells located in the ventricular zone. Only CB1 was expressed in the subventricular zone and in Cajal-Retzius cells in the molecular zone of the developing neocortex. CB2 was detected in cells of the microglia/macrophage lineage during development. In malformations of cortical development, prominent CB1 expression was demonstrated in dysplastic neurons. Both CBR were detected in balloon/giant cells, but CB2 appeared to be more frequently expressed than CB1 in these cell types. Reactive astrocytes were mainly stained with CB1, whereas cells of the microglia/macrophage lineage were stained with CB2. These findings confirm the early expression pattern of cannabinoid receptors in the developing human brain, suggesting a function for CB1 in the early stages of corticogenesis. The expression patterns in malformations of cortical development highlight the role of cannabinoid receptors as mediators of the endocannabinoid signaling and as potential pharmacological targets to modulate neuronal and glial cell function in epileptogenic developmental pathologies.

  17. Exposure to a Highly Caloric Palatable Diet during the Perinatal Period Affects the Expression of the Endogenous Cannabinoid System in the Brain, Liver and Adipose Tissue of Adult Rat Offspring.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-López, María Teresa; Arco, Raquel; Decara, Juan; Vázquez, Mariam; Noemí Blanco, Rosario; Alén, Francisco; Suárez, Juan; Gómez de Heras, Raquel; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have linked gestational exposure to highly caloric diets with a disrupted endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS). In the present study, we have extended these studies by analyzing the impact of the exposure to a palatable diet during gestation and lactation on a) the adult expression of endocannabinoid-related behaviors, b) the metabolic profile of adult offspring and c) the mRNA expression of the signaling machinery of the ECS in the hypothalamus, the liver and the adipose tissue of adult offspring of both sexes. Exposure to a palatable diet resulted in a) sex-dimorphic and perinatal diet specific feeding behaviors, including the differential response to the inhibitory effects of the cannabinoid receptor inverse agonist AM251, b) features of metabolic syndrome including increased adiposity, hyperleptinemia, hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia and c) tissue and sex-specific changes in the expression of both CB1 and CB2 receptors and in that of the endocannabinoid-degrading enzymes FAAH and MAGL, being the adipose tissue the most affected organ analyzed. Since the effects were observed in adult animals that were weaned while consuming a normal diet, the present results indicate that the ECS is one of the targets of maternal programming of the offspring energy expenditure. These results clearly indicate that the maternal diet has long-term effects on the development of pups through multiple alterations of signaling homeostatic pathways that include the ECS. The potential relevance of these alterations for the current obesity epidemic is discussed.

  18. Exposure to a Highly Caloric Palatable Diet during the Perinatal Period Affects the Expression of the Endogenous Cannabinoid System in the Brain, Liver and Adipose Tissue of Adult Rat Offspring

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez-López, María Teresa; Arco, Raquel; Decara, Juan; Vázquez, Mariam; Noemí Blanco, Rosario; Alén, Francisco; Suárez, Juan; Gómez de Heras, Raquel

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have linked gestational exposure to highly caloric diets with a disrupted endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS). In the present study, we have extended these studies by analyzing the impact of the exposure to a palatable diet during gestation and lactation on a) the adult expression of endocannabinoid-related behaviors, b) the metabolic profile of adult offspring and c) the mRNA expression of the signaling machinery of the ECS in the hypothalamus, the liver and the adipose tissue of adult offspring of both sexes. Exposure to a palatable diet resulted in a) sex-dimorphic and perinatal diet specific feeding behaviors, including the differential response to the inhibitory effects of the cannabinoid receptor inverse agonist AM251, b) features of metabolic syndrome including increased adiposity, hyperleptinemia, hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia and c) tissue and sex-specific changes in the expression of both CB1 and CB2 receptors and in that of the endocannabinoid-degrading enzymes FAAH and MAGL, being the adipose tissue the most affected organ analyzed. Since the effects were observed in adult animals that were weaned while consuming a normal diet, the present results indicate that the ECS is one of the targets of maternal programming of the offspring energy expenditure. These results clearly indicate that the maternal diet has long-term effects on the development of pups through multiple alterations of signaling homeostatic pathways that include the ECS. The potential relevance of these alterations for the current obesity epidemic is discussed. PMID:27806128

  19. Sex-dependent effects of periadolescent exposure to the cannabinoid agonist CP-55,940 on morphine self-administration behaviour and the endogenous opioid system.

    PubMed

    Biscaia, Miguel; Fernández, Beatriz; Higuera-Matas, Alejandro; Miguéns, Miguel; Viveros, Maria-Paz; García-Lecumberri, Carmen; Ambrosio, Emilio

    2008-04-01

    Early cannabinoid consumption may predispose individuals to the misuse of addictive drugs later in life. However, there is a lack of experimental evidence as to whether cannabinoid exposure during adolescence might differently affect opiate reinforcing efficacy and the opioid system in adults of both sexes. Our aim was to examine whether periadolescent chronic exposure to the cannabinoid agonist CP-55,940 could exert sex-dependent effects on morphine reinforcing and the opioid system in adulthood. Morphine reinforcing was studied under a progressive ratio (PR) reinforcement schedule in adult male and female rats that previously acquired morphine self-administration under a fixed ratio 1 (FR1) schedule. Binding levels and functionality of mu-opioid receptors were also evaluated. Periadolescent cannabinoid exposure altered morphine self-administration and the opioid system in adult rats in a sex-dependent manner. CP-55,940-exposed males exhibited higher self-administration rates under a FR1, but not under a PR schedule. In females, CP-55,940 did not modify morphine self-administration under either schedule. Moreover, CP-55,940 also increased mu-opioid receptor levels in the subcallosal streak of pre-treated animals and decreased mu-opioid receptor functionality in the nucleus accumbens shell but again, only in males. Our data indicate that adult male rats exposed to the cannabinoid in adolescence self-administer more morphine than females, but only when the demands required by the schedule of reinforcement are low, which might be related to the decrease in mu-opioid receptor functionality in the NAcc-shell observed in these animals.

  20. Cannabinoid Receptors CB1 and CB2 Modulate the Electroretinographic Waves in Vervet Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Bouskila, Joseph; Harrar, Vanessa; Javadi, Pasha; Beierschmitt, Amy; Palmour, Roberta; Casanova, Christian; Bouchard, Jean-François; Ptito, Maurice

    2016-01-01

    The expression patterns of the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R) and the cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2R) are well documented in rodents and primates. In vervet monkeys, CB1R is present in the retinal neurons (photoreceptors, horizontal cells, bipolar cells, amacrine cells, and ganglion cells) and CB2R is exclusively found in the retinal glia (Müller cells). However, the role of these cannabinoid receptors in normal primate retinal function remains elusive. Using full-field electroretinography in adult vervet monkeys, we recorded changes in neural activity following the blockade of CB1R and CB2R by the intravitreal administration of their antagonists (AM251 and AM630, resp.) in photopic and scotopic conditions. Our results show that AM251 increases the photopic a-wave amplitude at high flash intensities, whereas AM630 increases the amplitude of both the photopic a- and b-waves. In scotopic conditions, both blockers increased the b-wave amplitude but did not change the a-wave amplitude. These findings suggest an important role of CB1R and CB2R in primate retinal function. PMID:27069692

  1. Cannabinoid receptors on peripheral leukocytes from patients with schizophrenia: Evidence for defective immunomodulatory mechanisms.

    PubMed

    de Campos-Carli, Salvina Maria; Araújo, Marcio Sobreira; de Oliveira Silveira, Amanda Cardoso; de Rezende, Vitor Bortolo; Rocha, Natalia Pessoa; Ferretjans, Rodrigo; Ribeiro-Santos, Rafael; Teixeira-Carvalho, Andrea; Martins-Filho, Olindo Assis; Berk, Michael; Salgado, João Vinícius; Teixeira, Antonio Lucio

    2017-04-01

    to evaluate cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) expression on peripheral immune cells, i.e., blood monocytes, neutrophils, lymphocytes, and NK cells, and their relationship to a wide range of serum cytokine levels in subjects with schizophrenia and controls. A sample of 55 people with chronic schizophrenia and 48 controls were enrolled in the study. The expression of the cannabinoid receptors CB1R and CB2R was evaluated in peripheral blood leukocytes by flow cytometry. Serum levels of cytokines/chemokines were simultaneously analyzed by cytometric bead array. We found higher expression of cannabinoid receptors on cells of the innate immune system in subjects with schizophrenia when compared with controls. Serum levels of interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-6, IL-10, IL-17, interferon (IFN-γ), and (C-X-C motif) ligand 10/interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (CXCL10/IP10) were decreased, while levels of the chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2/monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (CCL2/MCP-1) were increased in the schizophrenia group in comparison with controls. Patients with schizophrenia showed simpler correlation network between cytokines and CBRs expression than controls. Patients with schizophrenia showed increased CBRs expression in cells of the innate immune system and simpler correlation network between cytokines and CBRs expression when compared with controls. These results suggest a defective endocannabinoid system-mediated immunomodulation in patients with schizophrenia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Estradiol decreases cortical reactive astrogliosis after brain injury by a mechanism involving cannabinoid receptors.

    PubMed

    López Rodríguez, Ana Belén; Mateos Vicente, Beatriz; Romero-Zerbo, Silvana Y; Rodriguez-Rodriguez, Noé; Bellini, María José; Rodriguez de Fonseca, Fernando; Bermudez-Silva, Francisco Javier; Azcoitia, Iñigo; Garcia-Segura, Luis M; Viveros, María-Paz

    2011-09-01

    The neuroactive steroid estradiol reduces reactive astroglia after brain injury by mechanisms similar to those involved in the regulation of reactive gliosis by endocannabinoids. In this study, we have explored whether cannabinoid receptors are involved in the effects of estradiol on reactive astroglia. To test this hypothesis, the effects of estradiol, the cannabinoid CB1 antagonist/inverse agonist AM251, and the cannabinoid CB2 antagonist/inverse agonist AM630 were assessed in the cerebral cortex of male rats after a stab wound brain injury. Estradiol reduced the number of vimentin immunoreactive astrocytes and the number of glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactive astrocytes in the proximity of the wound. The effect of estradiol was significantly inhibited by the administration of either CB1 or CB2 receptor antagonists. The effect of estradiol may be in part mediated by alterations in endocannabinoid signaling because the hormone increased in the injured cerebral cortex the messenger RNA levels of CB2 receptors and of some of the enzymes involved in the synthesis and metabolism of endocannabinoids. These findings suggest that estradiol may decrease reactive astroglia in the injured brain by regulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system.

  3. Immunomodulatory effects of endogenous and synthetic peptides activating opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Pomorska, Dorota K; Gach, Katarzyna; Janecka, Anna

    2014-01-01

    The main role of endogenous opioid peptides is the modulation of pain. Opioid peptides exert their analgesic activity by binding to the opioid receptors distributed widely in the central nervous system (CNS). However, opioid receptors are also found on tissues and organs outside the CNS, including the cells of the immune system, indicating that opioids are capable of exerting additional effects in periphery. Morphine, which is a gold standard in the treatment of chronic pain, is well-known for its immunosuppressive effects. Much less is known about the immunomodulatory effects exerted by endogenous (enkephalins, endorphins, dynorphins and endomorphins) and synthetic peptides activating opioid receptors. In this review we tried to summarize opioid peptide-mediated modulation of immune cell functions which can be stimulatory as well as inhibitory.

  4. Delta(9)-Tetrahydrocannabinol enhances MCF-7 cell proliferation via cannabinoid receptor-independent signaling.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Shuso; Yamaori, Satoshi; Motoya, Erina; Matsunaga, Tamihide; Kimura, Toshiyuki; Yamamoto, Ikuo; Watanabe, Kazuhito

    2008-03-12

    We recently reported that Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(9)-THC) has the ability to stimulate the proliferation of human breast carcinoma MCF-7 cells. However, the mechanism of action remains to be clarified. The present study focused on the relationship between receptor expression and the effects of Delta(9)-THC on cell proliferation. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that there was no detectable expression of CB receptors in MCF-7 cells. In accordance with this, no effects of cannabinoid 1/2 (CB1/2) receptor antagonists and pertussis toxin on cell proliferation were observed. Although MCF-7 cell proliferation is suggested to be suppressed by Delta(9)-THC in the presence of CB receptors, it was revealed that Delta(9)-THC could exert upregulation of living cells in the absence of the receptors. Interestingly, Delta(9)-THC upregulated human epithelial growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2) expression, which is known to be a predictive factor of human breast cancer and is able to stimulate cancer cells as well as MCF-7 cells. Actinomycin D-treatment interfered with the upregulation of HER2 and cell proliferation by cannabinoid. Taken together, these studies suggest that, in the absence of CB receptors, Delta(9)-THC can stimulate the proliferation of MCF-7 cells by modulating, at least in part, HER2 transcription.

  5. Allosteric Modulation: An Alternate Approach Targeting the Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Thuy; Li, Jun-Xu; Thomas, Brian F; Wiley, Jenny L; Kenakin, Terry P; Zhang, Yanan

    2016-11-23

    The cannabinoid CB1 receptor is a G protein coupled receptor and plays an important role in many biological processes and physiological functions. A variety of CB1 receptor agonists and antagonists, including endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, and synthetic cannabinoids, have been discovered or developed over the past 20 years. In 2005, it was discovered that the CB1 receptor contains allosteric site(s) that can be recognized by small molecules or allosteric modulators. A number of CB1 receptor allosteric modulators, both positive and negative, have since been reported and importantly, they display pharmacological characteristics that are distinct from those of orthosteric agonists and antagonists. Given the psychoactive effects commonly associated with CB1 receptor agonists and antagonists/inverse agonists, allosteric modulation may offer an alternate approach to attain potential therapeutic benefits while avoiding inherent side effects of orthosteric ligands. This review details the complex pharmacological profiles of these allosteric modulators, their structure-activity relationships, and efforts in elucidating binding modes and mechanisms of actions of reported CB1 allosteric modulators. The ultimate development of CB1 receptor allosteric ligands could potentially lead to improved therapies for CB1-mediated neurological disorders.

  6. Expression and characterization of human CB1 cannabinoid receptor in methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Kim, Tae-Kang; Zhang, Rundong; Feng, Wenke; Cai, Jian; Pierce, William; Song, Zhao-Hui

    2005-03-01

    For the purpose of purification and structural characterization, the CB1 cannabinoid receptors are expressed in methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris. The expression plasmid was constructed in which the CB1 gene is under the control of the highly inducible promoter of P. pastoris alcohol oxidase I gene. To facilitate easy detection and purification, a FLAG tag was introduced at the N-terminal, a c-myc epitope and a hexahistidine tag were introduced at the C-terminal of the CB1. In membrane preparations of CB1 gene transformed yeast cells, Western blot analysis detected the expression of CB1 proteins. Radioligand binding assays demonstrated that the tagged CB1 receptors expressed in P. pastoris have a pharmacological profile similar to that of the untagged CB1 receptors expressed in mammalian systems. Furthermore, the tagged CB1 receptors were purified by anti-FLAG M2 affinity chromatography and the identity of the purified CB1 receptor proteins was confirmed by Western blot analysis. MALDI/TOF mass spectrometry analysis of the peptides extracted from tryptic digestions of purified CB1 preparations detected 17 peptide fragments derived from the CB1, thus further confirming the identity of the purified receptor. In conclusion, these data demonstrated for the first time that epitope tagged, functional CB1 cannabinoid receptors can be expressed in P. pastoris for purification and mass spectrometry characterization.

  7. Arvanil, anandamide and N-arachidonoyl-dopamine (NADA) inhibit emesis through cannabinoid CB1 and vanilloid TRPV1 receptors in the ferret.

    PubMed

    Sharkey, K A; Cristino, L; Oland, L D; Van Sickle, M D; Starowicz, K; Pittman, Q J; Guglielmotti, V; Davison, J S; Di Marzo, V

    2007-05-01

    Cannabinoid (CB) agonists suppress nausea and vomiting (emesis). Similarly, transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV1) receptor agonists are anti-emetic. Arvanil, N-(3-methoxy-4-hydroxy-benzyl)-arachidonamide, is a synthetic 'hybrid' agonist of CB1 and TRPV1 receptors. Anandamide and N-arachidonoyl-dopamine (NADA) are endogenous agonists at both these receptors. We investigated if arvanil, NADA and anandamide were anti-emetic in the ferret and their mechanism of action. All compounds reduced the episodes of emesis in response to morphine 6 glucuronide. These effects were attenuated by AM251, a CB1 antagonist that was pro-emetic per se, and TRPV1 antagonists iodoresiniferatoxin and AMG 9810, which were without pro-emetic effects. Similar sensitivity to arvanil and NADA was found for prodromal signs of emesis. We analysed the distribution of TRPV1 receptors in the ferret brainstem and, for comparison, the co-localization of CB1 and TRPV1 receptors in the mouse brainstem. TRPV1 immunoreactivity was largely restricted to the nucleus of the solitary tract of the ferret, with faint labeling in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus and sparse distribution in the area postrema. A similar distribution of TRPV1, and its extensive co-localization with CB1, was observed in the mouse. Our findings suggest that CB1 and TRPV1 receptors in the brainstem play a major role in the control of emesis by agonists of these two receptors. While there appears to be an endogenous 'tone' of CB1 receptors inhibiting emesis, this does not seem to be the case for TRPV1 receptors, indicating that endogenously released endocannabinoids/endovanilloids inhibit emesis preferentially via CB1 receptors.

  8. Stabilization of Functional Recombinant Cannabinoid Receptor CB2 in Detergent Micelles and Lipid Bilayers

    PubMed Central

    Vukoti, Krishna; Kimura, Tomohiro; Macke, Laura; Gawrisch, Klaus; Yeliseev, Alexei

    2012-01-01

    Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of activation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) is among the most challenging tasks for modern membrane biology. For studies by high resolution analytical methods, these integral membrane receptors have to be expressed in large quantities, solubilized from cell membranes and purified in detergent micelles, which may result in a severe destabilization and a loss of function. Here, we report insights into differential effects of detergents, lipids and cannabinoid ligands on stability of the recombinant cannabinoid receptor CB2, and provide guidelines for preparation and handling of the fully functional receptor suitable for a wide array of downstream applications. While we previously described the expression in Escherichia coli, purification and liposome-reconstitution of multi-milligram quantities of CB2, here we report an efficient stabilization of the recombinant receptor in micelles - crucial for functional and structural characterization. The effects of detergents, lipids and specific ligands on structural stability of CB2 were assessed by studying activation of G proteins by the purified receptor reconstituted into liposomes. Functional structure of the ligand binding pocket of the receptor was confirmed by binding of 2H-labeled ligand measured by solid-state NMR. We demonstrate that a concerted action of an anionic cholesterol derivative, cholesteryl hemisuccinate (CHS) and high affinity cannabinoid ligands CP-55,940 or SR-144,528 are required for efficient stabilization of the functional fold of CB2 in dodecyl maltoside (DDM)/CHAPS detergent solutions. Similar to CHS, the negatively charged phospholipids with the serine headgroup (PS) exerted significant stabilizing effects in micelles while uncharged phospholipids were not effective. The purified CB2 reconstituted into lipid bilayers retained functionality for up to several weeks enabling high resolution structural studies of this GPCR at physiologically relevant

  9. Striatal adenosine-cannabinoid receptor interactions in rats over-expressing adenosine A2A receptors.

    PubMed

    Chiodi, Valentina; Ferrante, Antonella; Ferraro, Luca; Potenza, Rosa Luisa; Armida, Monica; Beggiato, Sarah; Pèzzola, Antonella; Bader, Michael; Fuxe, Kjell; Popoli, Patrizia; Domenici, Maria Rosaria

    2016-03-01

    Adenosine A2A receptors (A2 A Rs) and cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1 Rs) are highly expressed in the striatum, where they functionally interact and form A2A /CB1 heteroreceptor complexes. We investigated the effects of CB1 R stimulation in a transgenic rat strain over-expressing A2 A Rs under the control of the neural-specific enolase promoter (NSEA2A rats) and in age-matched wild-type (WT) animals. The effects of the CB1 R agonist WIN 55,212-2 (WIN) were significantly lower in NSEA2A rats than in WT animals, as demonstrated by i) electrophysiological recordings of synaptic transmission in corticostriatal slices; ii) the measurement of glutamate outflow from striatal synaptosomes and iii) in vivo experiments on locomotor activity. Moreover, while the effects of WIN were modulated by both A2 A R agonist (CGS 21680) and antagonists (ZM 241385, KW-6002 and SCH-442416) in WT animals, the A2 A R antagonists failed to influence WIN-mediated effects in NSEA2A rats. The present results demonstrate that in rats with genetic neuronal over-expression of A2 A Rs, the effects mediated by CB1 R activation in the striatum are significantly reduced, suggesting a change in the stoichiometry of A2A and CB1 receptors and providing a strategy to dissect the involvement of A2 A R forming or not forming heteromers in the modulation of striatal functions. These findings add additional evidence for the existence of an interaction between striatal A2 A Rs and CB1 Rs, playing a fundamental role in the regulation of striatal functions. We studied A2A -CB1 receptor interaction in transgenic rats over-expressing adenosine A2A receptors under the control of the neuron-specific enolase promoter (NSEA2A ). In these rats, we demonstrated a reduced effect of the CB1 receptor agonist WIN 55,212-2 in the modulation of corticostriatal synaptic transmission and locomotor activity, while CB1 receptor expression level did not change with respect to WT rats. A reduction in the expression of A2A -CB1

  10. Cannabinoids inhibit T-cells via cannabinoid receptor 2 in an in vitro assay for graft rejection, the mixed lymphocyte reaction.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Rebecca Hartzell; Meissler, Joseph J; Breslow-Deckman, Jessica M; Gaughan, John; Adler, Martin W; Eisenstein, Toby K

    2013-12-01

    Cannabinoids are known to have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) is expressed mainly on leukocytes and is the receptor implicated in mediating many of the effects of cannabinoids on immune processes. This study tested the capacity of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC) and of two CB2-selective agonists to inhibit the murine Mixed Lymphocyte Reaction (MLR), an in vitro correlate of graft rejection following skin and organ transplantation. Both CB2-selective agonists and Δ(9)-THC significantly suppressed the MLR in a dose dependent fashion. The inhibition was via CB2, as suppression could be blocked by pretreatment with a CB2-selective antagonist, but not by a CB1 antagonist, and none of the compounds suppressed the MLR when splenocytes from CB2 deficient mice were used. The CB2 agonists were shown to act directly on T-cells, as exposure of CD3(+) cells to these compounds completely inhibited their action in a reconstituted MLR. Further, the CB2-selective agonists completely inhibited proliferation of purified T-cells activated by anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 antibodies. T-cell function was decreased by the CB2 agonists, as an ELISA of MLR culture supernatants revealed IL-2 release was significantly decreased in the cannabinoid treated cells. Together, these data support the potential of this class of compounds as useful therapies to prolong graft survival in transplant patients.

  11. Cannabinoids Inhibit T-cells via Cannabinoid Receptor 2 in an in vitro Assay for Graft Rejection, the Mixed Lymphocyte Reaction

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Rebecca Hartzell; Meissler, Joseph J.; Breslow-Deckman, Jessica M.; Gaughan, John; Adler, Martin W.; Eisenstein, Toby K.

    2013-01-01

    Cannabinoids are known to have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) is expressed mainly on leukocytes and is the receptor implicated in mediating many of the effects of cannabinoids on immune processes. This study tested the capacity of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and of two CB2-selective agonists to inhibit the murine Mixed Lymphocyte Reaction (MLR), an in vitro correlate of graft rejection following skin and organ transplantation. Both CB2-selective agonists and Δ9-THC significantly suppressed the MLR in a dose dependent fashion. The inhibition was via CB2, as suppression could be blocked by pretreatment with a CB2-selective antagonist, but not by a CB1 antagonist, and none of the compounds suppressed the MLR when splenocytes from CB2 deficient mice were used. The CB2 agonists were shown to act directly on T-cells, as exposure of CD3+ cells to these compounds completely inhibited their action in a reconstituted MLR. Further, the CB2-selective agonists completely inhibited proliferation of purified T-cells activated by anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 antibodies. T-cell function was decreased by the CB2 agonists, as an ELISA of MLR culture supernatants revealed IL-2 release was significantly decreased in the cannabinoid treated cells. Together, these data support the potential of this class of compounds as useful therapies to prolong graft survival in transplant patients. PMID:23824763

  12. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol attenuates allogeneic host-versus-graft response and delays skin graft rejection through activation of cannabinoid receptor 1 and induction of myeloid-derived suppressor cells

    PubMed Central

    Sido, Jessica M.; Nagarkatti, Prakash S.; Nagarkatti, Mitzi

    2015-01-01

    Immune cells have been shown to express cannabinoid receptors and to produce endogenous ligands. Moreover, activation of cannabinoid receptors on immune cells has been shown to trigger potent immunosuppression. Despite such studies, the role of cannabinoids in transplantation, specifically to prevent allograft rejection, has not, to our knowledge, been investigated previously. In the current study, we tested the effect of THC on the suppression of HvGD as well as rejection of skin allografts. To this end, we studied HvGD by injecting H-2k splenocytes into H-2b mice and analyzing the immune response in the draining ingLNs. THC treatment significantly reduced T cell proliferation and activation in draining LNs of the recipient mice and decreased early stage rejection-indicator cytokines, including IL-2 and IFN-γ. THC treatment also increased the allogeneic skin graft survival. THC treatment in HvGD mice led to induction of MDSCs. Using MDSC depletion studies as well as adoptive transfer experiments, we found that THC-induced MDSCs were necessary for attenuation of HvGD. Additionally, using pharmacological inhibitors of CB1 and CB2 receptors and CB1 and CB2 knockout mice, we found that THC was working preferentially through CB1. Together, our research shows, for the first time to our knowledge, that targeting cannabinoid receptors may provide a novel treatment modality to attenuate HvGD and prevent allograft rejection. PMID:26034207

  13. Δ⁹-Tetrahydrocannabinol attenuates allogeneic host-versus-graft response and delays skin graft rejection through activation of cannabinoid receptor 1 and induction of myeloid-derived suppressor cells.

    PubMed

    Sido, Jessica M; Nagarkatti, Prakash S; Nagarkatti, Mitzi

    2015-09-01

    Immune cells have been shown to express cannabinoid receptors and to produce endogenous ligands. Moreover, activation of cannabinoid receptors on immune cells has been shown to trigger potent immunosuppression. Despite such studies, the role of cannabinoids in transplantation, specifically to prevent allograft rejection, has not, to our knowledge, been investigated previously. In the current study, we tested the effect of THC on the suppression of HvGD as well as rejection of skin allografts. To this end, we studied HvGD by injecting H-2(k) splenocytes into H-2(b) mice and analyzing the immune response in the draining ingLNs. THC treatment significantly reduced T cell proliferation and activation in draining LNs of the recipient mice and decreased early stage rejection-indicator cytokines, including IL-2 and IFN-γ. THC treatment also increased the allogeneic skin graft survival. THC treatment in HvGD mice led to induction of MDSCs. Using MDSC depletion studies as well as adoptive transfer experiments, we found that THC-induced MDSCs were necessary for attenuation of HvGD. Additionally, using pharmacological inhibitors of CB1 and CB2 receptors and CB1 and CB2 knockout mice, we found that THC was working preferentially through CB1. Together, our research shows, for the first time to our knowledge, that targeting cannabinoid receptors may provide a novel treatment modality to attenuate HvGD and prevent allograft rejection.

  14. Dissecting striatal adenosine-cannabinoid receptor interactions. New clues from rats over-expressing adenosine A2A receptors.

    PubMed

    Ferré, Sergi; Sebastião, Ana Maria

    2016-03-01

    This Editorial highlights a study by Chiodi et al. () showing that the effects mediated by cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) activation in the striatum are significantly reduced in rats with neuronal over-expression of adenosine A2A receptors (A2AR). Two hypotheses are derived from that study. Hypothesis A: two subpopulations of pre-synaptic CB1R in corticostriatal glutamatergic terminals exist, one forming and another not forming heteromers with A2AR. Hypothesis B: CB1R are predominantly forming heteromers with A2AR. In the case of hypothesis A, the A2AR might be required for CB1R-A2AR heteromeric signaling, whereas non-heteromeric CB1R activity is inhibited by A2ARs. In the case of hypothesis B, up-regulation of A2ARs may perturb heteromeric stoichiometry, thus reducing CB1R functioning. In any case, pre-synaptic striatal A2AR-CB1R heteromers emerge as important targets of the effects of cannabinoids demonstrated at the neuronal and behavioral level. Read the highlighted article 'Striatal adenosine-cannabinoid receptor interactions in rats over-expressing adenosine A2A receptors' on page 907. © 2016 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  15. Cannabinoid 1 and Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 Receptors Discretely Modulate Evoked Glutamate Separately from Spontaneous Glutamate Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Hofmann, Mackenzie E.; Andresen, Michael C.

    2014-01-01

    Action potentials trigger synaptic terminals to synchronously release vesicles, but some vesicles release spontaneously. G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) can modulate both of these processes. At cranial primary afferent terminals, the GPCR cannabinoid 1 (CB1) is often coexpressed with transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), a nonselective cation channel present on most afferents. Here we tested whether CB1 activation modulates synchronous, action potential-evoked (eEPSCs) and/or spontaneous (sEPSCs) EPSCs at solitary tract nucleus neurons. In rat horizontal brainstem slices, activation of solitary tract (ST) primary afferents generated ST-eEPSCs that were rapidly and reversibly inhibited from most afferents by activation of CB1 with arachidonyl-2′-chloroethylamide (ACEA) or WIN 55,212-2 [R-(+)-(2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-[(4-morpholinyl)methyl]pyrrolo[1,2,3-de]-1,4-benzoxazin-6-yl)(1-naphthalenyl) methanone monomethanesulfonate]. The CB1 antagonist/inverse agonist AM251 [N-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-4-methyl-N-1-piperidinyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide] blocked these responses. Despite profound depression of ST-eEPSCs during CB1 activation, sEPSCs in these same neurons were unaltered. Changes in temperature changed sEPSC frequency only from TRPV1+ afferents (i.e., thermal sEPSC responses only occurred in TRPV1+ afferents). CB1 activation failed to alter these thermal sEPSC responses. However, the endogenous arachidonate metabolite N-arachidonyldopamine (NADA) promiscuously activated both CB1 and TRPV1 receptors. NADA inhibited ST-eEPSCs while simultaneously increasing sEPSC frequency, and thermally triggered sEPSC increases in neurons with TRPV1+ afferents. We found no evidence for CB1/TRPV1 interactions suggesting independent regulation of two separate vesicle pools. Together, these data demonstrate that action potential-evoked synchronous glutamate release is modulated separately from TRPV1-mediated glutamate release despite coexistence in

  16. CB1 cannabinoid receptor-mediated increases in cyclic AMP accumulation are correlated with reduced Gi/o function.

    PubMed

    Eldeeb, Khalil; Leone-Kabler, Sandra; Howlett, Allyn C

    2016-05-01

    CB1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs) stimulate Gi/o-dependent signaling pathways. CB1R-mediated cAMP increases were proposed to result from Gs activation, but CB1R-stimulated GTPγS binding to Gs has not heretofore been investigated. Three models of CB1R-stimulated cAMP production were tested: pertussis toxin disruption of Gi/o in N18TG2 cells; L341A/A342L-CB1R expressed in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells; and CB1 and D2 dopamine receptors endogenously co-expressed in MN9D cells. cAMP was assayed by [3H]cAMP binding competition. G protein activation was assayed by the antibody-targeted scintillation proximity assay. In L341A/A342L-CB1-CHO cells, cannabinoid agonists significantly stimulated cAMP accumulation over vehicle; (-)-3-[2-hydroxyl-4-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)phenyl]-4-[3-hydroxyl propyl] cyclohexan-1-ol (CP55940)-stimulated [35S]GTPγS binding to Gi1/2/3 was reversed, whereas binding to Gs was not different from CB1R. In MN9D cells, CB1 agonist HU210 or D2 agonist quinpirole alone inhibited forskolin-activated cAMP accumulation, whereas HU210 plus quinpirole increased cAMP accumulation above basal. HU210 alone stimulated [35S]GTPγS binding to Gi1/2/3, whereas co-stimulation with quinpirole reversed HU210-stimulated [35S]GTPγS binding to Gi1/2/3. CB1R couples to Gs but with low efficacy compared to Gi/o. The L341A/A342L mutation in CB1R reversed CP55940 activation of Gi to an inhibition, but had no effect on Gs. Combined CB1 plus D2 agonists in MN9D cells converted the CB1 agonist-mediated activation of Gi to inhibition of Gi. In these models, the CB1 agonist response was converted to an inverse agonist response at Gi activation. Cannabinoid agonist-stimulated cAMP accumulation can be best explained as reduced activation of Gi, thereby attenuating the tonic inhibitory influence of Gi on the major isoforms of adenylyl cyclase.

  17. Cannabis, cannabinoids and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Park, Boram; McPartland, John M; Glass, Michelle

    2004-02-01

    In most countries Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug. Its use during pregnancy in developed nations is estimated to be approximately 10%. Recent evidence suggests that the endogenous cannabinoid system, now consisting of two receptors and multiple endocannabinoid ligands, may also play an important role in the maintenance and regulation of early pregnancy and fertility. The purpose of this review is therefore twofold, to examine the impact that cannabis use may have on fertility and reproduction, and to review the potential role of the endocannabinoid system in hormonal regulation, embryo implantation and maintenance of pregnancy.

  18. Cannabis sativa and the endogenous cannabinoid system: therapeutic potential for appetite regulation.

    PubMed

    Farrimond, Jonathan A; Mercier, Marion S; Whalley, Benjamin J; Williams, Claire M

    2011-02-01

    The herb Cannabis sativa (C. sativa) has been used in China and on the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years as a medicine. However, since it was brought to the UK and then the rest of the western world in the late 19th century, its use has been a source of controversy. Indeed, its psychotropic side effects are well reported but only relatively recently has scientific endeavour begun to find valuable uses for either the whole plant or its individual components. Here, we discuss evidence describing the endocannabinoid system, its endogenous and exogenous ligands and their varied effects on feeding cycles and meal patterns. Furthermore we also critically consider the mounting evidence which suggests non-Δ(9) tetrahydrocannabinol phytocannabinoids play a vital role in C. sativa-induced feeding pattern changes. Indeed, given the wide range of phytocannabinoids present in C. sativa and their equally wide range of intra-, inter- and extra-cellular mechanisms of action, we demonstrate that non-Δ(9) tetrahydrocannabinol phytocannabinoids retain an important and, as yet, untapped clinical potential.

  19. The novel endogenous cannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol is inactivated by neuronal- and basophil-like cells: connections with anandamide.

    PubMed Central

    Di Marzo, V; Bisogno, T; Sugiura, T; Melck, D; De Petrocellis, L

    1998-01-01

    The novel endogenous cannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) was rapidly inactivated by intact rat basophilic leukaemia (RBL-2H3) and mouse neuroblastoma (N18TG2) cells through diffusion/hydrolysis/reacylation processes. The hydrolysis of 2-AG was inhibited by typical esterase inhibitors and by more specific blockers of 'fatty acid amide hydrolase' (FAAH), the enzyme catalysing the hydrolysis of the other 'endocannabinoid', anandamide (AEA). No evidence for a facilitated-diffusion process was found. A 2-AG-hydrolysing activity was detected in homogenates from both cell lines, with the highest levels in membrane fractions. It exhibited an optimal pH at 10, and recognized both 2- and 1(3)- isomers of monoarachidonoylglycerol with similar efficiencies. The apparent Km and Vmax values for -3H-2-AG hydrolysis were 91 microM and 29 microM and 2.4 and 1.8 nmol.min-1.mg of protein-1 respectively in N18TG2 and RBL-2H3 cells. [3H]2-AG hydrolysis was inhibited by Cu2+, Zn2+ and p-hydroxymercuribenzoate, and by 2- or 1(3)-monolinoleoyl- and -linolenoyl-glycerols, but not by the oleoyl, palmitoyl and myristoyl congeners. Purified fractions from solubilized membrane proteins catalysed, at pH 9.5, the hydrolysis of 2-AG as well as AEA. Accordingly, AEA as well as FAAH inhibitors, including arachidonoyltrifluoromethyl ketone (ATFMK), blocked [3H]2-AG hydrolysis by N18TG2 and RBL-2H3 membranes, whereas 2-AG inhibited [14C]AEA hydrolysis. FAAH blockade by ATFMK preserved from inactivation the 2-AG synthesized de novo by intact N18TG2 cells stimulated with ionomycin. These data suggest that FAAH may be one of the enzymes deputed to the physiological inactivation of 2-AG, and create intriguing possibilities for the cross-regulation of 2-AG and AEA levels. PMID:9512456

  20. Antibody testing for brain immunohistochemistry: brain immunolabeling for the cannabinoid CB₂ receptor.

    PubMed

    Baek, Jean-Ha; Darlington, Cynthia L; Smith, Paul F; Ashton, John C

    2013-06-15

    The question of whether cannabinoid CB₂ receptors are expressed on neurons in the brain and under what circumstances they are expressed is controversial in cannabinoid neuropharmacology. While some studies have reported that CB₂ receptors are not detectable on neurons under normal circumstances, other studies have reported abundant neuronal expression. One reason for these apparent discrepancies is the reliance on incompletely validated CB₂ receptor antibodies and immunohistochemical procedures. In this study, we demonstrate some of the methodological problems encountered using three different commercial CB₂ receptor antibodies. We show that (1) the commonly used antibodies that were confirmed by many of the tests used for antibody validation still failed when examined using the knockout control test; (2) the coherence between the labeling patterns provided by two antibodies for the same protein at different epitopes may be misleading and must be validated using both low- and high-magnification microscopy; and (3) although CB₂ receptor antibodies may label neurons in the brain, the protein that the antibodies are labeling is not necessarily CB₂. These results showed that great caution needs to be exercised when interpreting the results of brain immunohistochemistry using CB₂ receptor antibodies and that, in general, none of the tests for antibody validity that have been proposed, apart from the knockout control test, are reliable.

  1. Effects of cannabinoid and vanilloid receptor agonists and their interaction on learning and memory in rats.

    PubMed

    Shiri, Mariam; Komaki, Alireza; Oryan, Shahrbanoo; Taheri, Masoumeh; Komaki, Hamidreza; Etaee, Farshid

    2017-04-01

    Despite previous findings on the effects of cannabinoid and vanilloid systems on learning and memory, the effects of the combined stimulation of these 2 systems on learning and memory have not been studied. Therefore, in this study, we tested the interactive effects of cannabinoid and vanilloid systems on learning and memory in rats by using passive avoidance learning (PAL) tests. Forty male Wistar rats were divided into the following 4 groups: (1) control (DMSO+saline), (2) WIN55,212-2, (3) capsaicin, and (4) WIN55,212-2 + capsaicin. On test day, capsaicin, a vanilloid receptor type 1 (TRPV1) agonist, or WIN55,212-2, a cannabinoid receptor (CB1/CB2) agonist, or both substances were injected intraperitoneally. Compared to the control group, the group treated with capsaicin (TRPV1 agonist) had better scores in the PAL acquisition and retention test, whereas treatment with WIN55,212-2 (CB1/CB2 agonist) decreased the test scores. Capsaicin partly reduced the effects of WIN55,212-2 on PAL and memory. We conclude that the acute administration of a TRPV1 agonist improves the rats' cognitive performance in PAL tasks and that a vanilloid-related mechanism may underlie the agonistic effect of WIN55,212-2 on learning and memory.

  2. Cannabinoid receptor 1 ligands revisited: Pharmacological assessment in the ACTOne system.

    PubMed

    Presley, Chaela S; Abidi, Ammaar H; Moore, Bob M

    2016-04-01

    In vitro cannabinoid pharmacology has evolved over time from simple receptor binding to include [(35)S]GTPγ, β-arrestin, and cAMP assays. Each assay has benefits and drawbacks; however, no single functional system has been used for high-throughput evaluation of compounds from binding to pharmacological functionality and antagonist assessment in a well-characterized human cell line. In this study, we evaluated and validated one system-ACTOne human embryonic kidney cells transfected with a cyclic nucleotide gated channel and cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1)-and compared human CB1 affinity, functional, and antagonistic effects on cAMP with previously published results. The study was conducted on a diverse group of CB1 ligands, including endocannabinoids and related compounds, 2-AG, AEA, MAEA, and ACEA, the phytocannabinoid Δ(9) THC, and synthetic cannabinoids CP 55,940, WIN 55,212-2, SR 141716A, CP 945,598, and WIN 55,212-3. Our results were compared with literature values where human CB1 was used for affinity determination and cAMP was used as a functional readout. Here we report the first detailed evaluation of the ACTOne assay for the pharmacological evaluation of CB1 ligands. The results from the study reveal some interesting deviations from previously reported functional activities of the aforementioned ligands.

  3. Distinct roles of neuronal and microglial CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the mouse hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Li, Yong; Kim, Jimok

    2017-09-06

    The effects of cannabinoids are primarily mediated by type-1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain and type-2 cannabinoid receptors (CB2Rs) in the peripheral immune system. However, recent evidence demonstrates that CB2Rs are also expressed in the brain and implicated in neuropsychiatric effects. Diverse types of cells in various regions in the brain express CB2Rs but the cellular loci of CB2Rs that induce specific behavioral effects have not been determined. To manipulate CB2R expression in specific types of cells in the dorsal hippocampus of adult mice, we used Cre-dependent overexpression and CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing techniques in combination with adeno-associated viruses and transgenic mice. Elevation and disruption of CB2R expression in microglia in the CA1 area increased and decreased, respectively, contextual fear memory. In CA1 pyramidal neurons, disruption of CB2R expression enhanced spatial working memory, whereas their overexpression reduced anxiety levels assessed asan increase in the exploration time in the central area of open field. Interneuronal CB2Rs were not involved in the modulation of cognitive or emotional behaviors tested in this study. The targeted manipulation of CB2R expression in pyramidal neurons and microglia suggests that CB2Rs in different types of cells in the mature hippocampus play distinct roles in the regulation of memory and anxiety. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Cannabinoid CB2 receptors are involved in the regulation of fibrogenesis during skin wound repair in mice

    PubMed Central

    LI, SHAN-SHAN; WANG, LIN-LIN; LIU, MIN; JIANG, SHU-KUN; ZHANG, MIAO; TIAN, ZHI-LING; WANG, MENG; LI, JIAO-YONG; ZHAO, RUI; GUAN, DA-WEI

    2016-01-01

    Studies have shown that cannabinoid CB2 receptors are involved in wound repair, however, its physiological roles in fibrogenesis remain to be elucidated. In the present study, the capacity of cannabinoid CB2 receptors in the regulation of skin fibrogenesis during skin wound healing was investigated. To assess the function of cannabinoid CB2 receptors, skin excisional BALB/c mice were treated either the cannabinoid CB2 receptor selective agonist, GP1a, or antagonist, AM630. Skin fibrosis was assessed by histological analysis and profibrotic cytokines were determined by immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence staining, reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunoblotting in these animals. GP1a decreased collagen deposition, reduced the levels of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, TGF-β receptor I (TβRI) and phosphorylated small mothers against decapentaplegic homolog 3 (P-Smad3), but elevated the expression of its inhibitor, Smad7. By contrast, AM630 increased collagen deposition and the expression levels of TGF-β1, TβRI and P-Smad3. These results indicated that cannabinoid CB2 receptors modulate fibrogenesis and the TGF-β/Smad profibrotic signaling pathway during skin wound repair in the mouse. PMID:26935001

  5. Cannabinoid Receptors: A Novel Target for Therapy of Prostate Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-02-01

    receptor in WIN-55,212-2 induced cell death, the effect of their antagonists was evaluated using MTT assay. Cells pretreated with 2 jIM of SR141716 ( CB1 ...time-dependent (24-48 h) inhibition of cell growth, blocking of CBi and CB2 receptors by their antagonists SR141716 (CBi) and SR144528 (CB2...tissues: the "central" CB1 receptor (13), and the "peripheral" CB 2 receptor (14). The major purpose of this research supported by the Award W81XWH-04

  6. delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol excites rat VTA dopamine neurons through activation of cannabinoid CB1 but not opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    French, E D

    1997-05-02

    Behavioral, biochemical and recent electrophysiological data have increasingly implicated the involvement of dopamine in the central actions of cannabinoid compounds. However, the site and mechanism by which cannabinoids stimulate dopamine systems has been somewhat controversial. Central opioid systems have also been suggested to play a role in some cannabinoid-induced behaviors as evidenced by their attenuation in the presence of the opioid antagonist naloxone. However, recent studies using the cannabinoid receptor-selective antagonist SR141716A suggest that the central actions of psychoactive cannabinoids are mediated principally through activation of CB1 receptors. Using single cell electrophysiological recordings in the rat we assessed the effects of both SR141716A and naloxone on delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-induced activation of ventral tegmental dopamine neurons. While dopamine cell firing was dose-dependently increased following cumulative dosing with delta9-THC it was partially or completely inhibited following pretreatment with 0.5 and 2 mg/kg SR141716A, respectively. However, 1 and 10 mg/kg naloxone failed to alter the response to delta9-THC. These data provide the first evidence that delta9-THC-induced changes in mesolimbic dopamine neuronal activity are mediated by the CB1 cannabinoid receptor, but a causal link for the involvement of opioid systems could not be established.

  7. A comprehensive patents review on cannabinoid 1 receptor antagonists as antiobesity agents.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Mayank Kumar; Murumkar, Prashant R; Barmade, Mahesh A; Giridhar, Rajani; Yadav, Mange Ram

    2015-01-01

    Obesity is a rapidly expanding worldwide health problem. Various targets are investigated presently for the treatment of obesity, but there remains an unmet need for an effective drug therapy with acceptable efficacy levels and reduced side effects. Targeting peripherally located cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors is an attractive strategy as these receptors play a vital role in energy homeostasis. CB1 receptor antagonists constitute one of the most important categories of compounds of interest for the control of obesity. In this review, the authors focus on recent advances (since 2007) in diverse chemical classes of patented compounds belonging to the category of CB1 receptor antagonists. Safer CB1 receptor antagonists for the treatment of obesity can be discovered by developing such compounds that act peripherally. Increasing the polar service area, decreasing the lipophilicity and designing of neutral antagonists and allosteric inhibitors are some interesting strategies that could offer promising results.

  8. A beneficial aspect of a CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist: SR141716A is a potent inhibitor of macrophage infection by the intracellular pathogen Brucella suis.

    PubMed

    Gross, A; Terraza, A; Marchant, J; Bouaboula, M; Ouahrani-Bettache, S; Liautard, J P; Casellas, P; Dornand, J

    2000-03-01

    The psychoactive component of marijuana, delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) suppresses different functions of immunocytes, including the antimicrobicidal activity of macrophages. The triggering of cannabinoid receptors of CB1 and CB2 subtypes present on leukocytes may account for these effects. We investigated the influence of specific CB1 or CB2 receptor antagonists (SR141716A and SR144528, respectively) and nonselective CB1/CB2 cannabinoid receptor agonists (CP55,940 or WIN 55212-2) on macrophage infection by Brucella suis, an intracellular gram-negative bacteria. None of the compounds tested affected bacterial phagocytosis. By contrast, the intracellular multiplication of Brucella was dose-dependently inhibited in cells treated with 10-500 nM SR141716A and 1 microM SR141716A-induced cells exerted a potent microbicidal effect against the bacteria. SR144528, CP55,940, or WIN 55212-2 did not affect (or slightly potentiated) the growth of phagocytized bacteria. However, CP55,940 or WIN 55212-2 reversed the SR141716A-mediated effect, which strongly suggested an involvement of macrophage CB1 receptors in the phenomenon. SR141716A was able to pre-activate macrophages and to trigger an activation signal that inhibited Brucella development. The participation of endogenous cannabinoid ligand(s) in Brucella infection was discussed. Finally, our data show that SR141716A up-regulates the antimicrobial properties of macrophages in vitro and might be a pharmaceutical compound useful for counteracting the development of intramacrophagic gram-negative bacteria.

  9. Cannabinoid CB2 receptors in the gastrointestinal tract: a regulatory system in states of inflammation.

    PubMed

    Wright, K L; Duncan, M; Sharkey, K A

    2008-01-01

    The emerging potential for the cannabinoid (CB) system in modulating gastrointestinal inflammation has gained momentum over the last few years. Traditional and anecdotal use of marijuana for gastrointestinal disorders, such as diarrhoea and abdominal cramps is recognized, but the therapeutic benefit of cannabinoids in the 21st century is overshadowed by the psychoactive problems associated with CB1 receptor activation. However, the presence and function of the CB2 receptor in the GI tract, whilst not yet well characterized, holds great promise due to its immunomodulatory roles in inflammatory systems and its lack of psychotropic effects. This review of our current knowledge of CB2 receptors in the gastrointestinal tract highlights its role in regulating abnormal motility, modulating intestinal inflammation and limiting visceral sensitivity and pain. CB2 receptors represent a braking system and a pathophysiological mechanism for the resolution of inflammation and many of its symptoms. CB2 receptor activation therefore represents a very promising therapeutic target in gastrointestinal inflammatory states where there is immune activation and motility dysfunction.

  10. Cannabinoids and Cytochrome P450 Interactions.

    PubMed

    Zendulka, Ondřej; Dovrtělová, Gabriela; Nosková, Kristýna; Turjap, Miroslav; Šulcová, Alexandra; Hanuš, Lumír; Juřica, Jan

    2016-01-01

    This review consists of three parts, representing three different possibilities of interactions between cannabinoid receptor ligands of both exogenous and endogenous origin and cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs). The first part deals with cannabinoids as CYP substrates, the second summarizes current knowledge on the influence of various cannabinoids on the metabolic activity of CYP, and the third outline a possible involvement of the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid ligands in the regulation of CYP liver activity. We performed a structured search of bibliographic and drug databases for peer-reviewed literature using focused review questions. Biotransformation via a hydrolytic pathway is the major route of endocannabinoid metabolism and the deactivation of substrates is characteristic, in contrast to the minor oxidative pathway via CYP involved in the bioactivation reactions. Phytocannabinoids are extensively metabolized by CYPs. The enzymes CYP2C9, CYP2C19, and CYP3A4 catalyze most of their hydroxylations. Similarly, CYP represents a major metabolic pathway for both synthetic cannabinoids used therapeutically and drugs that are abused. In vitro experiments document the mostly CYP inhibitory activity of the major phytocannabinoids, with cannabidiol as the most potent inhibitor of many CYPs. The drug-drug interactions between cannabinoids and various drugs at the CYP level are reported, but their clinical relevance remains unclear. The direct activation/inhibition of nuclear receptors in the liver cells by cannabinoids may result in a change of CYP expression and activity. Finally, we hypothesize the interplay of central cannabinoid receptors with numerous nervous systems, resulting in a hormone-mediated signal towards nuclear receptors in hepatocytes.

  11. Modeling, Molecular Dynamics Simulation, and Mutation Validation for Structure of Cannabinoid Receptor 2 Based on Known Crystal Structures of GPCRs

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) plays an important role in the immune system. Although a few of GPCRs crystallographic structures have been reported, it is still challenging to obtain functional transmembrane proteins and high resolution X-ray crystal structures, such as for the CB2 receptor. In the present work, we used 10 reported crystal structures of GPCRs which had high sequence identities with CB2 to construct homology-based comparative CB2 models. We applied these 10 models to perform a prescreen by using a training set consisting of 20 CB2 active compounds and 980 compounds randomly selected from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) database. We then utilized the known 170 cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) or CB2 selective compounds for further validation. Based on the docking results, we selected one CB2 model (constructed by β1AR) that was most consistent with the known experimental data, revealing that the defined binding pocket in our CB2 model was well-correlated with the training and testing data studies. Importantly, we identified a potential allosteric binding pocket adjacent to the orthosteric ligand-binding site, which is similar to the reported allosteric pocket for sodium ion Na+ in the A2AAR and the δ-opioid receptor. Our studies in correlation of our data with others suggested that sodium may reduce the binding affinities of endogenous agonists or its analogs to CB2. We performed a series of docking studies to compare the important residues in the binding pockets of CB2 with CB1, including antagonist, agonist, and our CB2 neutral compound (neutral antagonist) XIE35-1001. Then, we carried out 50 ns molecular dynamics (MD) simulations for the CB2 docked with SR144528 and CP55940, respectively. We found that the conformational changes of CB2 upon antagonist/agonist binding were congruent with recent reports of those for other GPCRs. Based on these results, we further examined one known residue, Val1133.32, and predicted two new residues, Phe183 in

  12. Attenuation of cannabinoid-induced inhibition of medullary dorsal horn neurons by a kappa-opioid receptor antagonist

    PubMed Central

    Okada-Ogawa, Akiko; Kurose, Masayuki; Meng, Ian D.

    2010-01-01

    The kappa-opioid receptor (KOR) antagonist norbinaltorphimine (nor-BNI) attenuates behavioral antinociception produced by spinal administration of the cannabinoid receptor agonist delta-9-tetrahydorcannabinol (THC). The present study examined the ability of nor-BNI to prevent cannabinoid-induced inhibition of medullary dorsal horn (MDH) nociceptive neurons and antinociception produced by the cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 (WIN-2). Extracellular, single unit recordings of lamina I and lamina V MDH neurons was performed in urethane anesthetized rats. Heat-evoked activity was measured before and after local brainstem application of nor-BNI or vehicle followed by WIN-2. In both lamina I and lamina V neurons, prior application of nor-BNI prevented the inhibition of heat-evoked activity by WIN-2. In separate experiments, the contribution of KOR to cannabinoid-induced increases in heat-evoked head withdrawal latencies was assessed in lightly urethane-anesthetized rats. Antinociception produced by intrathecal administration of WIN-2 and THC was attenuated by prior administration of nor-BNI. In contrast, antinociception produced by the cannabinoid CP55940 remained unaffected by prior administration of nor-BNI. These results indicate that cannabinoid inhibition of nociceptive reflexes produced by WIN-2 and THC may result from inhibition of dorsal horn neurons through a KOR-dependent mechanism. PMID:20807519

  13. Attenuation of cannabinoid-induced inhibition of medullary dorsal horn neurons by a kappa-opioid receptor antagonist.

    PubMed

    Okada-Ogawa, Akiko; Kurose, Masayuki; Meng, Ian D

    2010-11-04

    The kappa-o